Regardless of their differences, both tennis and cricket are extremely intensive and two of the most popular sports in the world. It is estimated that tennis has about 1 billion followers over the world, whereas cricket has 2.5 billion followers.
There is not much of a similarity between the two sports except the fact that Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza. Most recently, Malik came out and said that tennis is a much harder sport than cricket because the former is an individual sport and players cannot “hide” themselves in desperate situations which tend to happen in cricket.
There have been a lot of great players in both these sports, and as fans, we can’t help but notice a few glaring similarities between cricketers and tennis stars.
In this article, we take a look at 5 cricketers and which tennis player they most resemble.
Note: The equivalents are not based on looks, but on playing style and personalities.
Stanislas Wawrinka – Rohit Sharma
Enigmatic, powerful, but erratic – these 3 adjectives best describe both of these superstars. Both Rohit Sharma and Stanislas Wawrinka have become a phenomenon of their respective sport. Inconsistency is a part of their game, but on their given day they can destroy any opposition in front of them. Whether it’s the mighty tennis world no. 1 Novak Djokovic or the fearsome fast bowler Mitchell Starc, Wawrinka and Rohit have sent them back to the cleaners.
The beauty of their game is the way they can decimate any opposition on the biggest stage. Wawrinka has managed to win 3 Grand Slams in the past 3 years despite being written off by critics after his 2014 Australian Open win. He has had very little success in the ATP Masters tournaments, but when it comes to the big stage, Wawrinka delivers.
Similarly, Rohit Sharma has been very inconsistent, and his selection in the team has often being questioned, but he still continues to be the only cricketer to have two double-centuries to his name.
Rahul Dravid – David Ferrer
As fans, we feel hard done by the fact that both Rahul Dravid and David Ferrer were overshadowed by their peers. Dravid was clearly overshadowed by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, while David Ferrer peaked at a time when “The Big 4” namely Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray dominated the tennis world.
The most underrated players of their generation, both these humble players were the most genuine hard workers in their field. Rahul Dravid has single-handedly carried India through some of the hardest matches. In a series where India received a 4-0 drubbing against England in 2011, Rahul Dravid stood out with his batting displays.
Despite not having the height to be a successful tennis player, David Ferrer proved his critics wrong by featuring in the top 8 consistently for the past few years. He reached a career high of No 3 in 2013 and received the runner-up trophy at Roland Garros in the same year where he lost out to fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
#3 Nick Kyrgios – S Sreesanth
Nick Kyrgios and S Sreesanth are not short of talent. Both of them are extremely skilful but have been involved in a lot of controversies due to their behaviour on and off the field. They would have been right at the top if not for their poor behaviour. While Kyrgios still has enough time to improve his attitude and reach the top, that time is long gone for Sreesanth.
“Next-Gen” superstar Nick Kyrgios has an abundance of talent in his locker as we have seen time and again on the court. He has defeated the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in big tournaments and is currently in the top 20 of the world at the age of 21. Unfortunately, he has gotten into a lot of trouble due to his poor attitude on the court. Most recently, he was handed an 8-week ban by the ATP for tanking a match in the Shanghai Masters.
Similarly, Sreesanth was one of the best pace bowlers to have come out of the Indian ranks, and his performance overseas was impeccable. Unfortunately, he was involved in a lot of controversies throughout his career. He was allegedly involved in a match-fixing scam during the Indian Premier League which led to him being banned from cricket. He has not made a comeback yet and has since ventured into politics.
#2 Rafael Nadal – MS Dhoni
Highly disciplined, hard working and down to earth is the best way to describe these legends. Both Nadal and Dhoni have transformed tennis and cricket respectively and have achieved so much during their peak. Unfortunately have not been at the top of their game for the past two years or so. Despite this, the millions of fans they have gathered over the years continue to support them and hope for them to get back their top form.
Another glaring similarity between the two is their style of play. Both, Nadal and Dhoni are not naturally talented. They have had to work hard to develop their particular style of the game for which they have received all the success over the years. While Dhoni is known for his unique shots and batting style, Nadal is known for the topspin he generates when he hits the ball and his amazing counter-attacking skills.
Rafael Nadal made history when he won 9 French Open titles, while MS Dhoni became India’s most successful ODI captain of all time.
#1 Roger Federer – Sachin Tendulkar
Arguably the greatest of all time in their respective sport, Roger Federer and Sachin Tendulkar have redefined class. Whether it's Tendulkar’s straight drive or Federer’s effortless forehand, it is pure joy to watch these two perform their magic in their respective fields.
The impact that both Sachin and Federer on people’s lives is unimaginable. They have been role models for millions of individuals around the world and coaches have often used the examples of these two legends to inspire youngsters.
Sachin and Federer have achieved almost everything there is to achieve in the world of cricket and tennis respectively. While Sachin is the leading run-getter in both the ODI and Test formats, Federer has the maximum number of Grand Slams in tennis history.
Currently, Sachin has retired from all forms of cricket while Federer, who suffered an injury setback a few months ago, is looking to make a successful return to tennis at the beginning of 2017. The pair even met in the year 2011 at the Wimbledon Championships.