In the first two parts of the series “leapfrogging comparisons”, I tried equating sportsmen from different sports, based on the similarities that they share. In this third part though, I am going to attempt something different. Going a step ahead, slightly ostracizing from my earlier articles in the series, I have decided to leapfrog even further and establish connections between two different sports rather than dwelling on players alone.
I was overly amazed by the striking resemblances which came pouring into my mind, once I decided doing it. Since cricket and tennis have always been my favourite sports, I would like to persist with the same, rather than venturing into a different area totally. So, without further ado, let me sail straight to the topic and make everyone familiar with the identical characteristics which exist between the two games.
Related to Australia:
Both Sir Donald Bradman and Rod Laver, who were referred to as the all time greats in their respective sports, hail from Australia. The roofing system in both the sports was first introduced only in Australia. The first series, played under roof, was between Australia and South Africa a decade back in 2000 at Telstra Dome, Melbourne. The roofing system was first introduced in Melbourne Park at the Rod Laver Arena and later on Wimbledon followed suit.
In cricket, different sorts of turfs are prepared in various countries. While some pitches are tailor made for assisting fast bowling, some are prepared as devastating turning wickets which suit spin bowlers. There are faster wickets in Australia with true pace and bounce and there are also slower wickets like what we see in subcontinent with low bounce and less pace. There are some turfs which produce uneven bounce when the balls are pitched. As a result batsmen have to resort to different styles of shot making in accordance to the conditions. The horizontal bat shots are used to be played in bouncy tracks and the vertical bat shots are employed in slower surfaces.
Likewise, the game of tennis offers a variety of surfaces to play with. There are clay courts, grass courts and hard courts. Every court behaves differently. While clay courts are meant to be very slow with lower bounce, the grass courts are supposed to be a bit fast and bouncy. The hard courts are even faster compared to that of grass courts. The professionals use baseline approach while fiddling on slower clay courts but switch over to serve and volley games on other courts. Those who are not gifted volleyers make slight adjustments nowadays from the baseline itself, playing on faster surfaces.
In cricket, a player, irrespective of the country which he belongs to, has to wear only white coloured dress if he is a member of the playing XI in tests. However, the colour dresses are allowed for the players who take part in ODIs or T20s.
In Tennis, while playing in Wimbledon, which is the most ancient of all the other Grand Slams, the players have to comply with the regulated dress code system. They cannot wear dresses which appear “non whitish” in colour. However, in all other tournaments, including the other Grand Slams, they can show up in the attires according to their own whims and fancies.
No ball and Foot Fault rules:
In cricket, if a bowler, on his follow through, oversteps the crease which belongs to the umpire, then the fielding time will be penalized by way of awarding runs to the batting side and also by making the bowler bowl an extra delivery. This would continue until a bowler delivers a legitimate delivery. This action of over stepping is called No ball.
In tennis, when a player serves he should see to that he does not step his foot across or on the baseline. If he fails to adhere to this rule, then he will be foot faulted. If it was the first serve then he would get at least a reprieve by getting a chance to serve again, counting the first one as unlawful. But if he gets called for a foot fault when he is at second serve, then the opponent will be awarded with an extra point. Both the rules, though called in different terms, almost indicate breaching of line by the players, isn’t it?
The number Six:
Six legitimate balls constitute an over in cricket. Unless a bowler bowls a no ball or a wide, an over will be completed if six balls are bowled.
Likewise, a set is said to have been won by a player if he succeeds in winning six games with a difference of at least two games . Unless and until his opponent does not get to win five games, pocketing six games is considered enough for winning a set in tennis.
Cricket, internationally, is played with three different versions i.e. Tests, ODIs and T20s. The test matches are played for 5 days whereas the other two versions are meant to finish in a day. While ODIs have an over limit of 50, T20s, as the name indicate, require only 20 overs to be bowled by each side.
Even in Tennis, there are different versions available i.e. Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. While the first two are self explanatory, mixed doubles refers to both men and women playing together. Also, gentleman’s singles, other than Grand Slams, are limited to just best of three sets. Only in Grand Slams, the matches are played with best of five sets.
A few rule changes in cricket:
The ODIs, during the initial stages are played with 60 overs per side. Then it was cut shortened to 50 overs in the 80′s. The first three World Cups in England had sides playing 60 overs per innings. Also, there used to be a rest day after the first three days of every test. The same has been scrapped two decades back.
Same way, in the game of tennis, tie breaker was introduced by Van Allen in order to finish of sets quickly when the scores are tied 6 all. This has been followed in every tournament nowadays unless the set becomes a deciding one.
Thus ends the third part of leapfrogging comparisons. You can feel free to comment if you think I could have added some more.