There is an IPL omerta on Sky Sports in England [it's transmitted by the rival Setanta here], but when nebulous commentary box discussion touches on six-hitting, someone, generally Athers or Nasser Hussain, will make a comment about 'the massive bats they use these days'.
It's not an observation that their colleague Ian Botham bothers offering, perhaps because he was an intuitive hitter of the ball. It's the change in attitude rather than the change in bats that's key.
Atherton hit four sixes during his 115 Test career. He was outdone even by Boycott, who struck eight in 108 Tests. Kevin Pietersen hit four sixes in his first Test. [Athers struck one in his 54-match ODI career, a stat that sees him comprehensively hammered by Chris Tavare, who managed two in his 29 matches]. A bigger bat would have made no difference at all to him.
What has happened, along with a new fluidity of technique, is an adjustment of what batsmen consider possible. An England player at the IPL asked Virender Sehwag what he thought about technically as the bowler ran in. 'Oh just watch the ball and hit it,' Sehwag replied.
That, to me, seemed to be the real transition that English cricket is trying to cope with right now - a transition of the mind, an acceptance of the possible, a belief in the new age.
* See what you've done Lalit? See...?