Show and Tell

A year when merit shone through as much as grit in In­dian sports

India Today - - SPORT & CINEMA - — Suhani Singh

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.

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