Show and Tell
A year when merit shone through as much as grit in Indian sports
SHAME ON PEOPLE for trolling @AnushkaSharma nonstop. Have some compassion. She has always only given me positivity.” The 116 characters—the most retweeted tweet of 2016—highlight that off-field too Virat Kohli leads by example, standing up for his then ex in front of misogynistic trolls. With great power, Kohli has only demonstrated greater responsibility, passion and aggression as he shoulders the hopes of a billion-plus cricket fanatics. His individual performance—he is the only batsman who is in the top 5 across ICC rankings in Test, ODI and T20—hasn’t suffered despite the media glare, reaffirming that he is more than capable of multitasking. With M.S. Dhoni relinquishing the Test captaincy too, the Virat era has truly begun.
Kohli isn’t the only Indian sports personality with a winner’s mentality. Three women—Olympic silver medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu and bronze-winning wrestler Sakshi Malik, along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who narrowly missed the podium in the vault—ensured that India had something to celebrate in what was otherwise a disappointing showing at Rio 2016. Their sacrifices and against-all-odds journeys to the big summit are a reminder that there are sporting icons beyond the world of cricket. As the poll suggests, India needs to unearth these bright stars early, support them with funds and upgraded infrastructure and protect sporting bodies from political interference. The golds will come.