Cricket and baseball are closely related and apart from a few technical differences, the batting skills demanded by both the sports are pretty identical. The similarities don’t end there – both games originated in England and have been popularised across the globe.
Batting is of prime importance in both sports and there are players who have succeeded in cricket who could possibly excel in baseball too.
We take a look into five batsmen who could have been big names in baseball too.
#5 AB de Villiers
Hockey, football, rugby, swimming, tennis, and golf - sports that AB de Villiers played before eventually zeroing in on cricket. Cricket and its fans would easily have been deprived of a modern day genius had the South African batsman not opted for cricket and picked any of the above mentioned sports.
Undoubtedly the most gifted South African batsman, de Villiers is a class above the rest and has been a crowd favourite, courtesy of his explosive brand of cricket. Factoring in his versatility, it won’t be a shocker if de Villiers becomes a baseball player after hanging his boots in cricket!
(Video Courtesy: TOP10 INSANE - Cricket YouTube Channel)
There is an obvious reason why the Proteas batsman has earned the nickname of ‘Mr. 360’. He can muscle the ball across the entire circumference of the field from deliveries of similar line and length and this quality can work wonders for him in baseball.
In the recent past, he has been plagued by injuries, but the big-man hasn’t run out of gas and is still a force to reckon with.
#4 Brendon McCullum
Leave alone his ferocious hitting, Brendon McCullum’s stance is good enough to indicate his aggressive intent of thrashing the leather as well as the morale of opposition bowlers. The Kiwi’s unflinching and dynamic approach is what makes him a perfect fit for the game of baseball.
Speed is a mere number for the man from Christchurch as he dances down to the bowlers, clocking 150 kmph, treating them as spinners. Fear is a word that doesn’t feature in his dictionary as he sets his destination over the boundary hoardings every-time he takes strike.
(Video Courtesy: The Cricket Show YouTube Channel)
McCullum is a predominant puller and hooker of the cricket ball and is severe to full tosses. His fast hands generate enough force to take the ball way beyond the ropes, which is crucial in baseball.
Such was his impact that it turned New Zealand cricket from being underdogs to world beaters in pretty quick time. McCullym had an impressive Big Bash League and will be an integral part of Gujrat Lions in the IPL. Nonetheless, if he wishes to kick start a new career, baseball won’t be a bad option for him.
#3 Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite’s mention automatically brings to mind the heroics he showcased at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata against England. The innings earned him accolades from the cricketing fraternity and soon after was blessed with a lucrative deal in the IPL, being grabbed by Delhi Daredevils.
He didn’t disappoint with either of bat and ball and stamped his authority on the reputation he has created for himself during the World T20. With a long leverage of his arms, Brathwaite can be handy in a baseball jersey too.
A height of 6’4” is bound to work to his advantage in baseball, smashing full bungers with disdain.
Baseball requires going for the home run and it requires prowess in clearing the ground by a fair distance. Brathwaite has shown that when he is in the mood, no ground is big enough for his brutal six-hitting ability.
#2 Glenn Maxwell
Unquestionably the most unorthodox batsman of his generation, Glenn Maxwell can dispirit bowlers into submission. He has all the strokes up his sleeves that can rattle the best in the business. With the hitting ability he possesses, he will be an indispensable part of any baseball team.
No target is daunting enough for the batting dynamite as he has displayed so many times in his limited overs career. He doesn’t mind taking the aerial route and throw caution to the wind, which can leave any side in tatters.
(Video Courtesy: cric world YouTube Channel)
Maxwell has got strong wrists that results into the colossal sixes and its efficacy is of prime significance in the game of baseball. ‘Maxi’ has the ability to drag balls from outside the off-stump and scorch them over mid-on and mid-wicket, which is what is required in the game of baseball.
His blazing intent has got him expelled from the Australian team and has drawn negative comments from around the globe. But there’s no denying the fact that Maxwell’s presence at the crease is good enough to keep the opposition teams on their toes.
#1 Chris Gayle
The Jamaican, over the years, has made a mockery of the boundary as he even mishits balls over the ropes, leave alone the ones he middles. There’s no dull moment when the hulking batsman from the Caribbean is plying his trade with the willow in hand.
He can be an asset to any baseball team and on his day can demolish any opposition no matter how much stronger they are. Bowlers have had to face his wrath as the West Indian dismisses deliveries out of sight with disparagement.
(Video Courtesy: Rishabh Maurya YouTube Channel)
Stand and deliver - Chris Gayle’s methodology for hitting sixes and when it comes off the screws, fielders become mere spectators. And provided it’s a full toss, which is the case in baseball, there’s no stopping the carnage. Home-run is where Gayle must have set his destiny in baseball and like cricket, would have earned the record of most home runs.
Pitchers in baseball must be breathing a sigh of relief after the carnage Gayle has displayed over the past decade.