In India there is no need for separate polls to judge that the cricketers are the most followed personalities in the country. Especially since the dawn of this century, the fan following has been increasing exponentially. Nowadays many of the cricketers have their fan clubs run by their supporters which has taken their popularity to a new level. Members of such groups have always appreciated the efforts of their cricketing heroes.
Among them, certain Indian players have got praise from their overseas peers. Though they face others on the field they share a great camaraderie off it. Some of them have even stated that they have learned a lot of things from their opponents. These cricketers can also be termed as the virtual members of those fan clubs.
Here is the list of 5 overseas cricketers who are big fans of Indian cricketers
1) Nathan Lyon – Ravichandran Ashwin
“Nice, Garry” is the phrase that is commonly heard when the Australian team is fighting out a Test battle. It refers to Nathan Lyon who has turned himself into a spin sensation in the modern-day Test cricket. With his classic off-spin bowling and wicket-taking abilities, he has become an enforcer in the country’s cricket.
Especially in the last couple of years, he has also been able to outshine the famed pace attack of the Kangaroos. Lyon has outfoxed world-class batsmen with his guile. Though he has achieved tremendous success in his trade he has never shied away from admiring his counterparts. One of them is India’s ace tweaker, Ravi Ashwin who has always enjoyed a healthy rivalry with Lyon.
Before the start of the 2019 Ashes, the Aussie showered praises on his equivalent and stated that he has learned a lot from him. He went on to add that he watched the video footage of his spells in the County championship. His choice of words indicates that he is an ardent follower of Ashwin’s work.
2) Jos Buttler – MS Dhoni
Of late the England team has become a powerhouse in the white-ball cricket and some of the credit should go to Jos Buttler. The keeper-batsman has played some awe-inspiring knocks around the globe. Due to his inventive shot-making and power game he has been labeled as one of the best finishers the game has seen.
He is a rare cricketer who can change the tempo of the game with his mere presence on the field. He can take apart bowling attacks like nine-pins. Buttler’s style of play has influenced many youngsters in the country but it was MS Dhoni who enthralled him in his teenage days. The Indian legend is considered one of the greatest white-ball players.
Recently on his 38th birthday when the cricketing world was thanking him for his contributions to the game even Buttler joined the bandwagon. The Englishman revealed that he was his idol and also sounded his respect for Dhoni’s work ethics on the field. He termed him a true ambassador of the gentlemen’s game and added that he is the proud member of the MSD fan club.
3) Babar Azam – Virat Kohli
Right now the Pakistan cricket is full of emerging talents and Babar Azam is one of them. The youngster showed his class by leading the batting charts in the 2019 World Cup. What was more pleasing was his batting grace which charmed the entire cricketing fraternity. He is also expected to carry the captaincy charge of Men in Green in the coming years.
The right-hander is rated highly because of his willingness to improve his game every time he steps on the field. Azam has already generated some mind-boggling numbers but he always harps on the point of consistency to achieve great feats. It is a quality he has imbibed from Virat Kohli. The current Indian captain is the perfect role model for the budding cricketers.
A few days ago Babar agreed in a press conference that he is inspired by Kohli. He described how he observes each innings of his idol to emulate him in match situations. He pointed out that he also keeps a close eye on his fitness standards. He is following the footsteps of one of the modern-day greats and only a true fan can do such things.
4) Stephen Fleming – Hardik Pandya
Over the years the Chennai Super Kings have been able to maintain their supreme consistency in IPL. It is largely because of their trusted core of players and backroom staff including head coach, Stephen Fleming. It seems that the New Zealander has created a great environment in the dressing room. His man-management skills have certainly helped the franchise enjoy the glory days.
Irrespective of the situation he has backed his players regularly. Fleming is an individual who always admires a cricketing talent regardless of the team he is representing. It happened again when he praised Hardik Pandya for his match-winning efforts against his side, CSK in an IPL tie. Since his debut, the all-rounder has been taking giant strides in his professional career.
In the last IPL season when Pandya was in red-hot form Fleming acknowledged his multi-dimensional skillset. He admitted that players like him can make a huge difference in the team set-up. Mainly he was impressed with his finishing skills. According to the former Black Caps skipper, Hardik will be a vital cog for the Indian team in the years to come.
5) Brett Lee – Jasprit Bumrah
It will be fair to say that Australian cricket has been lucky to have a standard production line of fast-bowlers. One of the top-class products from that line is Brett Lee who used to terrorize the batsmen with his sheer pace. He kept the opposition on their toes all the time. Throughout his career, he delivered 150 kmph thunderbolts at will which was a sight to behold.
Often hailed as the smiling assassin of world cricket, Lee was a lethal weapon for the Kangaroos across formats. Some of his spells were as deadly as rattlesnake bites but his boyish charm made him a fan favorite. Especially in India where he has done a lot of commentary work after his cricketing career. A couple of years ago he was also involved with TNPL.
In one of the stints, he was asked a question on twitter regarding his first-choice Indian pacer. He was quick to reply and the answer was none other than the current spearhead of the Indian bowling unit, Jasprit Bumrah. He confirmed that he loved watching him in action. After seeing the post, Bumrah replied that Lee was his childhood hero. It was a beautiful moment between two great fast-bowlers of different generations.
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