Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Indian sports have seen an increase in popularity over the years. Many factors have contributed to the steady rise of great Indian athletes on the international and domestic stages. There are some heroes who will be remembered for their contributions to the history of Indian sports. They worked hard, took risks to overcome the odds, overcame all obstacles with courage and determination, and wore their hearts on their sleeves. They gave their best, trying to be the best version possible of themselves so that India’s Tricolors could be proudly ranked among the top. These athletes are the pride and joy of our country. They also set the standard for success in their respective sports, which is a great way to ensure future success. These are our avengers.

1) Dhyan Chaud Without the legend Dhyan Chaand, no list of the most important Indian sports stars would be complete. This former Indian hockey team captain is without doubt the greatest Indian export to ever grab a stick. His dominance of Indian hockey over 23 years, culminating in three Olympic gold medals won for India, will be forever part of Indian hockey’s history. Indian hockey was founded in modern-day Uttar Pradesh by Dhyan Chand, whose perseverance and determination helped to make it a global phenomenon. Second-generation Indian Army officer, Dhyan Chand, wore the colours proudly and gave his best every time he took to the field. His team was motivated by him and he led them from the front, no matter what the situation. His dazzling dribbling skills and lightning quickness earned him the nickname “Hockey Ka Jaadugar” (Magician in hockey).

2) Sachin Ramesh Tulkar, November 15, 1989 was the moment that Indian cricket changed forever. He made his debut against Pakistan at the age of 16. It was a surprise to be chosen in such a crucial series at such an early age. But Raj Singh Dungarpur, the ex-President of the BCCI, made the courageous decision that allowed for the debut of one of the greatest cricketers to ever play the game. Sachin Ramesh Tandulkar is a name that no Indian can forget. He was a name that billions of people chant about and has inspired many others to become the best, such as Virat Kohli. Also read: The Boxing Federation of India requests a three-month extension for foreign coaches. The ‘Master-Blaster,’ as he was known, defeated world-class bowling attacks, and frustrated legends like Glen Mcgrath and Shane Warne. It is like watching a talented artist at work. His signature cover drive is very reminiscent of that. His legendary style of play is an inspiration to generations to come, despite being small. When Indian cricket was in chaos, he led the charge and won matches for his team alone. As a tribute to Sachin, the 2011 Indian Cricket Team took his example as an inspiration and gave their best to win the World Cup. Sachin’s influence was so great that his team wanted it to be won for him and all his contributions. Tendulkar retired after amassing an incredible 18426 runs at an impressive average of 44.83. He also smashed 49 hundreds and 96 fifties, as well as scoring a record 15921 runs with an average of 53.78 runs in Test Cricket.

3) Milkha Sing Few people have the privilege of being enshrined in our collective memories because stories about their exploits are celebrated in popular culture. We will never forget “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, not only because of Farhan Akthar’s movie but also because of the legend athlete it is based on. Milkha Singh was a fighter as the “Flying Sikh” flew through all obstacles and added pressure on his way to becoming the greatest Indian track-athlete. He was a dacoit in one way or another after witnessing the deaths of his parents and siblings during the partition. His brother Malkhan advised him to join the Indian Army. This changed his life. It also introduced him to the sport that would change his life forever and help the country to prosper on the track. Milkha Singh was the champion of the sport, winning four gold medals at the Asian Games and one at the Commonwealth Games. His biggest regret was his fourth place finish in the 400m race at 1960 Rome Olympics. After beating Otis Davis and most other medal contenders, he was in great form when he entered the Olympics. He was also one of the favorites. He led the race for the majority of the race, until a crucial mental slip at the 250 mark. At that point, he stopped, believing he couldn’t sustain the pace. According to Milkha Singh this slip cost him a medal, and will remain his most painful memory. He set an Olympic record, and is the only Indian to have done so. He would have won us an Olympic medal in a sports that is not our strength, but for the slip. It is not easy to get that close, especially with our training facilities and other aspects still in their infancy. It required an athlete who was strong in character, perseverance and unrelenting determination. These qualities were abundant in Milkha Singh, which inspired the next generation to strive for glory regardless of their circumstances. We were proud to see Neeraj Chopra’s dedication and gold medal for Milkha Singh.

4) Vishwanathan anand, a Chennai-born chess grandmaster, has been dominating the game for over a decade. He beat some of the most skilled players in the world in certain games. His achievements made him a household name and will continue to inspire young chess players. Anand is the first Indian grandmaster to be crowned grandmaster. His game skills are unmatched. Anand, the 5-time World champion, is also the only player to have an Elo rating above 2800. This feat was first achieved in 2006.

5) MC Mary Kom “Magnificent Mary” – The six-time World champion, and Olympic bronze medalist, keeps her name true to her nickname. Manipur’s incumbent Member of Parliament has been a dominant figure in boxing, and is now considered one of the greatest to ever enter a ring. The future generation of boxers will be impressed by her determination and willpower to defeat her opponents. She is remembered for her 2012 Olympic campaign that won her bronze. It is rare to find an athlete who can keep calm under enormous pressure and not lose heart. Mary Kom is truly one in a million. Her tenacity, determination and ferocity cannot be duplicated.

6) Saina Nawal, the former world number one, opened the floodgates to Indian badminton’s success by winning bronze at the Olympics. By defeating Wang Xin, the Haryanvi ended China’s dominance in bronze medal matches. This allowed Sindhu and other Indian badminton players to follow her lead. Saina has amassed a number of medals and trophies quickly, playing the sport with an intensity and hunger unlike any other. She is determined to win, regardless of circumstances. This is why her aggressive play style comes from. Pullela Gopichand, a legendary badminton player, helped Saina to improve her skills starting at a young stage in Hyderabad. Saina’s talent was what made her stand out among the rest. She also wanted to win the best and be the best version she could be. Saina Nehwal will be a name that we won’t soon forget as we continue to tell her stories.

7) Pusarla Veenkata Sindhu PV. Sindhu, another Gopichand mentee, is one of India’s greatest badminton players. In 2019, the 26-year old made history in Basel when she became the first Indian Badminton World Champion. She won titles with her calm, yet fierce style of play and defeated the best players in the world to establish herself as an Indian export to the sport. Her growing reputation and career as a big-game player was highlighted by her 2016 Olympics silver medal. She lost out to Carolina Marin, top seed, in a hard-fought match lasting 83 minutes. She then won a bronze medal at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, beating He Bingjiao, the world number 9. PV Sindhu will have the opportunity to make her mark as an Indian badminton champion when she competes for gold at 2024 Paris Olympics.

8)Pullela Gopichand is the Indian badminton team’s Chief National Coach. He was a bronze medalist at the Asian Championships. Gopichand was a major reason for Indian badminton’s rise. He mentored players like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and played a significant role in their rapid growth. He was passionate about the sport and founded the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. This involved the mortgage of his house. His academy produced many stars like Saina and Sai Praneeth as well as Gurusai Datt, Parupalli Kashyap, and Sindhu.

9) Mahendra Sing Dhoni Former Indian captain, World Cup winner, led his team to numerous series wins and trophies. His calm demeanour was infectious to his team, as they held their nerves and delivered in the crucial moments. MSD was a well-known player in the game for his ability to finish matches with sixes more often than not. It is an amazing sight to see his signature helicopter shot. We were captivated by it and jumped with joy and excitement. Dhoni’s legacy will be his ability make decisions for the good of the team regardless of any backlash, whether that was dropping veteran players for fitness issues or disciplining a younger player because of indifference. He was an imposing figure behind the stumps. His honesty and control of his emotions made him a formidable captain. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with a winning percentage in the range of 59.52 will be remembered as the greatest Indian captain. His legacy goes beyond the stats. He made decisions such as choosing young stars with hunger rather than seasoned veterans with clout. He also stressed the importance of selecting good fielders to apply pressure to the opponents. And, most importantly, he led from the front while practicing what he preached. Sania Mirza

10) Sania Mirza Sania Mirza will be remembered as the greatest Indian tennis player ever. Her success has opened many doors for the next generation of tennis stars. Her achievements on the court will not be her only legacy. She remained true to herself and continued to excel despite all pressures. Her ability to block out the noise and zone in was always a hallmark that led to numerous Grand Slam victories. She is a fiery Hyderabadi who puts her emotions on her sleeves and works hard to master her game. Despite being criticized by anti-patriotic chants, Sania took pride in her work and made sure her country was proud. She carried herself with class on and off court.

11) Abhinav bindra Abhinav bindra is the shining example of how betting on yourself can make a difference. Bindra was the first Indian shooter in consecutive years to win an Olympic and World Championship Gold. Because India was lacking the necessary facilities to improve his game at that time, Bindra placed his faith in himself and spent long periods of training in Germany. His legacy extends beyond his records-breaking accomplishments in the sport. He uses his foundation, the Abhinav Bindra Foundation, to give athletes free access to high-performance training and the latest sports technology. His passion for sports combined with his dedication to providing support to other athletes makes him stand out from the rest.

12) Koneru Hupy, the reigning world rapid champion, was also the youngest woman to attain the title Grandmaster at age 15, 15 years before the record was set in 2008. Andhra Pradesh’s ace chess champion was also the second woman, after Judit Pologar, to reach the 2600 Elo rating mark. She is widely regarded as the best Indian female chess player and Asian gold medalist. Her extraordinary achievements earned her the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award in 2020.

13) Mithaliraj India’s other “Captain Cool”, Mithali Raj, led her team to the 2005 World Cup finals and provided big knocks when her team was in trouble. With a total run total of 10,273 runs, the “Tendulkar” of Indian women’s cricket is also the top run-scorer in ODI cricket. She holds the records for the most capped player, and the most consecutive fifties. Mithali Raj’s batting style, which she controls the pace of the innings and knows when to unleash the fireworks, is amazing. Her never say die attitude and leadership style help her team win key matches.

14) Sunil Chertri As the Indian football team’s “Captain Fantastic”, Baichung Bhutia was left with huge shoes to fill. Chettri made the most out of his chance, leading his team from the front. He scored goals while encouraging his teammates. He was able to spot his spots and score with pinpoint accuracy, making him joint top scorer alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Chettri is 13th on the active roster with 75 goals. But his impact extends beyond the football pitch. After a low turnout, Chettri’s viral video asking for more support from the fans changed how Indian football was perceived. Fans were encouraged to show up in large numbers and they did. Fans and players alike admire his impact. He was the greatest Indian football player ever, thanks to his ability to lead the team through one of the most successful eras in the country.

15) Leander and Mahesh Bhupathi (Paes and Bhupathi), are names that are widely admired in tennis circles all over the world. These two tennis stars, despite their individual careers, helped to put Indian tennis on top when they played together. It is impossible to say one name without thinking about the other. This was due to their impact as a doubles team. While dominating the top players in the world, the former world number one pair won multiple Grand Slams. Before the introduction of the pair, India was not known for its ability to produce top-level tennis players. Each player won multiple Grand Slams post-divorce. Their legacy will be forged, despite their split.

16) Saikhom Mirabai Chanu Mirabai Chanu Mirabai Chanu, the physical embodiment for determination and willpower, is disappointed in her performance at the Rio Olympics 2016. After missing out on the Tokyo Paralympics gold, the Manipuri ace returned stronger than ever to win the silver. Mirabai is an inspiration to the nation, showing that perseverance and hard work can win the day, despite all odds. Her success allowed future athletes to reach the podium. She will continue to be the inspiration. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu – remember her name! Her name will always be remembered as it is inscribed in history books. We sing her praises and share her stories with the next generation.

17) Neeraj Chpra India’s first track-and-field gold medalist, Neeraj Chupra, is a must-have on any list. Milkha Singh predicted that India would win Olympic gold in track and field events. Neeraj fulfilled this prophecy by dedicating his gold medal to the legend sprinter. With his pride at seeing his country’s flag raised to the highest, the young champion will be a regular on the podium. He is an incredible gem for Indian sports in the future and present. His perseverance and determination to beat the best, and be the best version possible of himself while under tremendous pressure shows us why he is such a valuable asset. As he grows older, we will see more of the Olympic champion.

18) Geethu Anna Rahul Geethu Anna Rahul is undoubtedly the best Indian basketball player, despite the tough competition from Amjyot Sing, Anitha Panduri, Khushi Ram, Satnam Singh and Khushi Ram. Geethu Anna, a native of Kottayam in Kerala, was invited to tryouts for the Chicago Sky, Los Angeles Sparks, and Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA. Although she didn’t make it onto the roster, teams were impressed by her work ethic and skills. She was also one of the first players to travel abroad and played in the WNBL of Australia. She was the Hawks’ top scorer in WNBL and won the Most Valuable Player Award. She was also the Asian Basketball Championships’ top scorer in both 2007 and 2009. Geethu Anna has a legacy that extends beyond the court. She has opened many doors for young Indian stars like Sanjana Ramesh or Harsimran Kaur. Other than the 15 athletes who have achieved success at the highest level in their sport and represented our country with pride, honour, and distinction, there are many more. There will be many more champions in the future.

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