Kohli and de Villiers are currently team mates in RCB. © AFP & Photo Courtesy: Ubitennis
Kohli and de Villiers are currently team mates in RCB. © AFP & Photo Courtesy: Ubitennis

In every sport there comes a period when it is impossible to choose between two players regarding who is the better than the other. Currently, cricket fans and pundits around the world are going through the same dilemma. Who is the better off— Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers? Both the batsmen are going through a phase called— being inhuman. Packed with special talents and abilities to maul the opponents, both the players are feared and respected around the world. And such a contest makes us remember a similar duel in a different sport. No, we are not talking Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (simply because their fans are at loggerheads with each other). It’s the tennis duo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. ALSO READ: Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers: A club of mutual admiration

On first look, one may be wondering how can players from cricket (a team sport) be compared to tennis ( an individual sport). But then, are Kohli and de Villiers making cricket seem like a team game? The mutual admiration, respect the above duo’s garner is the reason they are on the same wavelength.

“Unbelievable, can’t believe I’m the winning captain. That should end a lot of debates as to who is the best going around. No question about it.” — Kohli on de Villiers.

To start off, both Kohli and de Villiers have utmost respect and admiration for each other, something Federer and Nadal have always shared. What keeps them apart is the fan factor. De Villiers and Virat Kohli fans have reached a stage where they can be compared to the same level, unlike Nadal and Federer who will think twice before comparing two different individuals. And finally, the cricketing duo are equally brilliant in their game, just like these tennis maestro. ALSO READ: Virat Kohli ahead of Lionel Messi, Novak Djokovic as most marketable player

“Virat Kohli is pure class, world class.” — De Villiers.

This is not some sort of comparison of stats or ability. It is just to tell how the two cricketing stalwarts remind us of the two tennis greats. On the first look, Kohli and Nadal share huge resemblance—that aggressiveness but icy cool with his attitude, with de Villiers and Federer sharing similar traits—humble nature but approach towards the game focused and aggressive.

“I have a lot of talent but not like Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal and Martina Hingis.” — Federer.

If there is any player who can be compared to Nadal is captain Kohli. Just like the Spaniard, Kohli is a master in all aspects, a complete individual and has an outrageous hunger for success. Just when everyone thought there may never be someone better than Sachin Tendulkar, in came Kohli, showed his own caliber in terms of batting prowess way different to his idol. This was as similar to what Nadal, who became the greatest tennis player at no time showing how different he was with his approach and hunger to strive hard in the game.

“For any tournament missing a champion like him, not seeing him compete, is bad news.” — Nadal on Federer’s absence from French Open 2016.

And then there is de Villiers and Federer. Both the players are absolute match to match. De Villiers who has average of 50+ in ODI’s and Test’s is feared by all, and relies on sheer brilliance. It’s absolutely similar to Federer, who has various records to him name; thanks to his calm approach towards the game and understanding the player. And the best part about these two is that neither of them give up, even if they are on the verge of a loss. Both the player are filled with lot of emotion, but rarely do they show it.

Something which is common in all these four greats is that despite having achieved nearly everything, yet are very down to earth. It is easy for a player to grow ego once he gains success, but none of the above in any time of their career have spoken negative about each other.

In the end, what these 4 individuals are praise about is the example they have set for future times. Lucky for cricket that it has it’s own version of Federer and Nadal, as something like this can only happen in centuries.

(R Narayan is a reporter with CricketCountry, and is an ardent cricket and football enthusiast (big Manchester United fan). Having followed cricket since 2003, he likes high scoring matches as well as good fast bowling. His Twitter handle is @RNarayan24nov)