Cricket is more than a religion in India, it is by far India’s favourite sport. So the question arises, what is India’s second favourite sport? Many people believe it is Football, but the truth is that since the inception of Pro Kabaddi League back is 2014, it is Kabaddi that has become India’s second favourite sport.
Kabaddi is India’s gift to the world, but for decades it was lost in the wilderness and a handpicked few knew the name of India’s Kabaddi players. All of this was to change with the inception of PKL and 5 years down the line it has caught the imagination of many people across the world and India’s Kabaddi players are now a household name.
So the comparisons were inevitable and the Indians started to compare players from their favourite sport Cricket and their new love Kabaddi players. So today let’s look at the 5 Indian Cricket players and their Kabaddi equivalents.
1. MS Dhoni – Anup Kumar
MS Dhoni – Anup Kumar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
You wouldn’t find a better match when it comes to these two sports than MS Dhoni and Anup Kumar. Both are cooler than a refrigerator and have rightfully earned the nickname of ‘Captain Cool’. If Dhoni is a master of run chases, Anup is the best in picking up bonus points.
When it comes to leading the national side, both of them have led India to a World Cup victory at home in their respective sports. Much like MS Dhoni, you will never see Anup lose his cool in the game. In franchise sport, both of them have led their respective teams Chennai Super Kings and U Mumba to a title.
When it comes to developing young players, the way Dhoni nurtured players like Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and a few others, Anup is the catalyst in the development of players like Rishank Devadiga, Mohit Chillar, Surender Singh. So it is a no brainer to compare the two legends of their sports.
2. Virat Kohli – Pardeep Narwal
Virat Kohli – Pardeep Narwal. (Photo Source: Twitter)
If breaking records is an art, then these two players are the masters of doing that. Virat Kohli scores century as if he is having breakfast and the same could be said about Pardeep Narwal the way he scores Super 10s just for fun as if it is no big deal.
Just like Virat Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the history of IPL, Pardeep is the highest raid point scorer in the history of PKL. Virat had a record-breaking IPL season in 2016 where he amassed 973 runs, the same way Pardeep had a record-breaking season in 2017, where he scored 369 raid points.
Both are at the heights of their prowess right now and the best in their field. One thing that defines Virat Kohli is his aggression and hunger for runs, the same goes for Pardeep as well as he tries to score a raid point in every raid that he does.
3. Rohit Sharma – Rahul Chaudhari
Rohit Sharma – Rahul Chaudhari. (Photo Source: Getty Images and Twitter)
Both of them were defined by the word ‘talent’ early on their career. Just like Rohit Sharma even Rahul Chaudhari’s initial career was full of promise but marked with a bit of disappointment about not delivering up to the potential.
For Rohit, the turning point of his career was opening the batting and captaining Mumbai Indians, for Rahul the turning point came when he was picked as the lead raider and the captain of Telugu Titans in the first season of PKL. Rohit took the world by storm by scoring those double hundreds and Rahul showed his potential to the world by becoming the first player in PKL History to stack up 800 raid points.
Off the field, both of them have a similar personality and are very calm on and off the mat. While Rahul has been one of the poster boys of PKL, Rohit is one of the poster boys of World Cricket.
4. Rishabh Pant – Sachin Tanwar
Rishabh Pant – Sachin Tanwar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
A youngster taking the world by storm with his immense ability to destroy the opposition, it something that we can relate to both Rishabh Pant and Sachin Tanwar. Both of them made an impact very early on in their careers and made every single person who saw them perform in awe of them.
Rishabh is someone who hates playing dot balls and looks to hit a boundary virtually every ball, Sachin also doesn’t believe in putting empty raids and looks to score with virtually every raid he goes into.
Both of them are double-edged swords, they believe in the concept of ‘perform or perish’. There is never a dull moment in the match when they are in the centre. Just like the Indian cricket team has a lot of expectations from Rishabh, Indian Kabaddi team sees Sachin as a future superstar.
5. Jasprit Bumrah – Sandeep Narwal
Jasprit Bumrah – Sandeep Narwal. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sandeep Narwal is often referred to as a ‘beast’ in PKL and that is also exactly what Jasprit Bumrah is when it comes to bowling. One of the most destructive bowlers India has ever produced and one of the most powerful defenders to have played for India have many things in common.
Bumrah has been an integral part for Mumbai Indians winning the trophy, Sandeep was the wall in season 3 for Patna Pirates and played a humongous part in them winning the coveted trophy for the first time. Most of the batsmen are fearful of Bumrah and most of the raiders don’t go anywhere close to Sandeep when he is on the mat.
Just like any captain trusts Bumrah in the death overs, for whichever team Sandeep has played their captains always look up to him when it comes to tackling the opposition’s best raiders in pressure situations.
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