In any sports players come and go. But, now and then there would be players who debut and never retire from the minds of their fandom. In cricket too, through out history there have been players who ruled cricket and captured fans’ hearts. Let it be the domineering straight drives of Sachin or the scintillating cover drives of the calypso legend Lara, every legend leaves an indelible memory in the drawn-out history of cricket.
But when these legends call it a day, fans are left craving for the panache that is associated with the fabled batsmen. To douse the burning desire of the devotees, certain batsmen are born who exude the same flamboyance associated with some of the legendary batsmen.
Here is the list of batsmen whose batting is an exact copy of another legendary batsman.
#4 Fawad Alam – Shivnarine Chanderpaul
The uni-browed Pakistani batsman had a stance similar to that of the West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul. From a square stance with the front foot placed parallel to the back foot, making traditionalists and purists scowl at them, Chanderpaul has become one of the finest batsmen of our era.
Fawad Alam, too has a stance similar to Chanderpaul and plays in a similar manner to the West Indian legend. Alam’s innings are associated with risk free cricket, with running dominating the scoring over boundaries. The Pakistani left hander is now an important member of the Pakistani middle order, trying the opposition captains’ patience with quick singles and improbable doubles.
#3 Chamara Silva – Aravinda de Silva
Chamara Silva’s batting is an exact copy of Sri Lanka’s cynosure in batting from the 80s through 90s to the early part of 2000 – Aravinda de Silva. Even though statistically Sangakkara is the best batsman of Sri Lanka both in ODIs and tests, the islanders still revere Arvainda a notch above Sangakkara. From being international punching bags till becoming bare knuckled street fighters, Aravinda oversaw Sri Lanka’s cricketing culture.
Chamara Silva’s bow legged stance, bravado styled cover drives and strong wristy flicks were compared to Sri Lanka’s Mad Max. Just like the Sri Lankan legend, Chamara Silva too had strong wrists, often picking up balls outside off to deposit them over mid wicket. In the 2007 world cup, the Lankan batsman played an incredibly unorthodox shot, charging down the track and flicking a full ball outside off over the mid wicket fence.
However, unlike Aravinda, Chamara failed to live up to the expectations making more comebacks than substantial scores. He, nevertheless played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka reaching the finals of the 2007 world cup, playing some valuable knocks in the middle order.
#2 Darren Bravo – Brian Lara
He may not be as talented as the one whom he imitates, but Darren is loved all over the world for helping cricket lovers re-live the enthralling batting of the West Indian legend.
Bravo who happens to be the cousin of Brain Lara, has imbibed Lara’s technique so much that he bats almost like Lara, with the same flamboyance, same back lift and incongruously similar foot work.
Legend has it that Bravo had the habit of switching off TV as soon as Lara got out, to go out and practice his shots. Even though the Caribbean youngster has succeeded in imitating one of the masters of the game, Bravo has been underwhelming in his performances. The south paw averages just 43.6 in 32 tests with a paltry 6 centuries.
With myriad of hard hitters in the line up, Darren’s technically correct stroking has become an ideal foil in the West Indian batting. When he gets going, there cannot be a better glorious sight in the world than his batting.
#1 Kusal Janith Perera – Sanath Jayasuriya
Kusal Perera, amidst his bouts of failures has now become an important ingredient in his country’s world cup plans.