Here I have come up with the list of 15 greatest Indian sportspersons.Initially I had planned of including only 10, but as I was researching about all of them everyone seemed to be deserving to make it to my list.I finally had to take a detour at 15 sporting greats.Take a look at the list and find out who sits atop the rankings.
This is purely based on personal research. I have personally researched over this topic for days and also considered opinions of some.
Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar made India proud at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he won the bronze medal.He added one more feather to the cap after grabbing the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.In 2009, he was conferred upon the prestigious Rajiv Khel Ratna Award.Sushil Kumar had also won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.
Abhinav Bindra is world and a Olympic champion in the 10m Rifle event.The 34-year old shooter ended India’s long wait for a gold medal at the Olympics, when he stood at the centre of the medal podium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics..He was the first ever Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics.
One of the greatest female athlete and the only successful female tennis player of the country,Sania Mirza is the current world.no.1 in the WTA doubles ranking.She is also one of the highest paid athlete of India joining the likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the elite list.The Hyderabad girl is a multiple Grand Slam champion as well as Asian Games gold medallist.
If one says snooker and billiards, then it is mandatory to mention the name Geet Sethi.Arguably, he is the one who made these two sports synonmouus with India.Geet Sethi is the 9-time world English Billiards champion and multiple national billiards champion.He is also the recepient of many awards including the Khel Ratna and the Padmashri.
Nicknamed ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid is one of the greatest batsman in the history of cricket.He is the only 4th cricketer to have scored more than 10,000 runs in both the Test as well as the One-day matches and only the 2nd Indian cricketer.He even holds a unique record of not being dismissed of the Golden Duck of the 286 innings he played.
Hailing from Manipur,Mary Kom is the most successful Indian female wrestler.She is a five-time world champion and a Olmpics bronze medallist.Her feat is becomes extra-ordianry as she is the only female boxer to have won the medal.She is also a Asian Games gold-medallist.Her outstanding achievements inspired a Bollywood film-maker to direct a biopic starring Priyanka Chopra as the celebrated boxer.
Prakash Padukone is credited to have put India on the world map of badminton.He became the first Indian to win the coveted All England Championships in 1980.Before that in 1978 he had the yellow metal at the Commonwealth Games held in Canada.He was also the national champion for consecutive 7 years.
A 5-time world champion, Vishy Anand is the most successful chess player of India.He became the first Grandmaster of India in 1988.He has also been conferred upon with various national honours of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1991-92 and also the Padma Vibhushan .
7.Mahendra Singh Dhoni(CRICKET)
With his flamboyant captaincy and best finisher status,MS Dhoni is one of the most celebrated Indian cricketer.He made his test debut in 2004 against Bangladesh and there was no looking back from then for this Ranchi lad.Under his leadershiP, India was able to lift the World Cup after 28 years in 2011 in which Mahi(as he is fondly called) played a finishers knock of 79-balls 91 runs.to be sealed with a six.India also won the Champions Trophy as well as held the No.1 position as Test team in 2013.
Age is just a number for this 43-year old tennis icon. One of the greatest tennis players, Paes is the winner of 18 Grand Slams in doubles and mixed doubles title over the long years.In addition to that, Paes also won the bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.He is the most celebrated Indian Olympian having played in every Games from 1992-2016.Paes is honoured with multiple awards at national level including Arjuna Award and Padmashri.
5.PT Usha(TRACK AND FIELD)
PT Usha is often said to be the greatest female athlete India has ever produced.This sporting hero has won nearly 101 intenational medals and the winner of Arjuna Award and the Padmashri.She is reffered as the ‘queen of track and field’ and is nicknamed Payolli Express as she hails from Payolli
Undoubtedlty,the best all-rounders in the history of cricket.Kapil Dev was the man under whose captaincy India lifted the most coveted ICC World Cup for the first time in 1983.It was a matter of pride for the Indians and Kapil Dev went down in history as one of the greatest capatains.He is the only player to have grabbed more than 400 wickets and 5000 runs.
A Bharat Ratna awardee Sachin Tendulkar is the often regarded as the best cricketer in the world.The Master Blaster is the only cricketer on earth to have scored 100 international centuries.He graced the sport of cricket for a commendable 24 years and throughout these years made more than 30,000 runs in all the cricket formats.Back home cricket is the religion for the people and Sachin their God.
2.Milkha Singh(TRACK AND FIELD)
Milkha Singh was one of the first sporting icons of an independent India.A victim of the brutal partition,Milkha Singh was destined to defeat all odds and emerge as a true champion.He was the gold-medalist at the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games.Milkha Singh had also served the Indian Army.He is best remembered for his 4th place finish at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Milka Singh earned the nickname Flying Sikh when Pakistani General Ayub Khan witnessed his astonishing running at friendly games.He was awarded the Padmashri for his incredible sporting achievements.
Undoubtedly,the greatest ever sportsperson of India.An Army officer and a marvellous hockey player,Major Dhyanchand was one gifted person.He had a phenomenal goal scoring ability and scored goals like a true magic.He was later dubbed as the ‘WIZARD OF HOCKEY’.Dhyan Chand has 400 goals to his credit over a career spanning of 22 years .He played a pivotal role in grabbing India gold medals at the 1928,1932 and 1936 Olympics.One incident also says that Adolf Hitler was also left astounded by this magician’s spells.His birthday 29th August is celebrated in India as the National Sports Day every year.Such is the legend of this true sporting icon!