In every game, the characteristics of top-notch players are always similar, that is hard work, athleticism, skills, and the right mindset. In a figurative speech, one can argue that Stephen Curry is the Virat Kohli of basketball. Similarly, a parallel can be drawn between several pairs such as Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer on the basis of their records and the reputation at the global level.
It also holds true while comparing two different leagues as well. For example, the IPL can be epitomized as the NBA of the cricket or vice-versa. Expensive contracts for the top athletes across the globe, colossal fan bases, heavy traffic on the internet for live streaming, social media eruption in the playoffs and world-class entertainment are some of the common phenomena in both the leagues. Both the leagues features the most envied rivalries in the sporting world.
This slideshow is my attempt to the highlight the hidden parallelism that exists among several top-notch players, which I believe can be easily envisaged by an ardent fan. The creative evaluation is gleaned from the observations, I have made from several years of watching both cricket and basketball with the utmost zeal.
The primal instinct of both the games is to keep the scoreboard running. Several basic skills can be easily compared, Batting with the shooting, defensive play or blocks with the wickets taken, and most importantly in any team game are assists which can be compared with fielding, wicketkeeping, and runouts. Other grounds for comparison are based on the personal records of the player and the type of techniques they adopt.
Apart from that the personal behaviour and type of approach adopted in the play and performance under pressure situation in a decider match is another parameter. The best evidence is the aggression of Virat Kohli on the field is the quintessence of the trash talks of Kobe Bryant who captained the redeem team in 2008.
There several players with a lot of similarities, I have compiled the list of top 5 duos of cricket and the basketball legends.
Here's my compilation:-
#5 Chris Gayle and Russell Westbrook
Chris Gayle is one of the most revered batsmen for his destructive abilities to hit gargantuan sixes, which can easily dwarf any bowling attack. Similarly, the reputation of Russell Westbrook is unmatched in present-day NBA. 6 feet and 3 inches are not very impressive on papers, but with unmatched speed and the vertical jump, Russell put himself in his own orbit which can easily belittle any taller defender.
Both players are the powerhouses in themselves able to lighten up the crowd and invigorate the spirit of the teammates at the same time. It is not only the athleticism but also the aggressive play which reinforces their scoring capability One must not forget the consternation in which the opponents are put in by both of them.
Also, the pressure of responsibilities on these players is comparable, as their team heavily rely on their performance for winning the matches, ergo less probabilistic to win the major championships. It has happened several times that both of them are on bench owing to injury, their teams have performed abysmally.
Chris Gayle holds the world record of hitting the fastest T20 hundred in IPL and the highest score in IPL in the same innings. He has been part of World XI and also holds several world records. An estimate can be drawn from his average strike rate of 150 in IPL. The records of Russell are commensurate to that of Chris Gayle. Being part the USA national team, the 29-year old Oklahoma City Thunder star has been the recipient of 2012 Olympics Gold medal and 2010 FIBA World Championship. In 2017 Russell became the MVP and has been part of NBA All-Star Team 7 times.