India’s Performance in Cricket, Tennis and Hockey. Compelling or Could be Better?

India's Performance in Cricket, Tennis and Hockey. Compelling or Could be Better?
In picture: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
India's Performance in Cricket, Tennis and Hockey. Compelling or Could be Better?
In picture: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

India has shown a stupendous improvement in the sporting arena in recent time. This is evident from India triumph in knocking out Australia in ODI series in cricket and its excellent display in hockey beating world number three the Netherlands in two consecutive matches. Sania Mirza’s triumph in tennis has delighted the sports fans of the country. The struggle of Indian shuttlers has made the mood sombre. Hopefully, they will regain form and bounce back strongly.

Here are the weekly sports wrap up:

India dashes Australia’s plan

Immaculate planning, clinical execution and brilliance of batting by Rohit and Virat helped India to crush Australia by seven wickets in the deciding match of the series at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday. Team India has made its habit of bouncing back after initial setbacks; this proved too much for the visitors to handle.

Seasoned campaigner, Steve Smith’s hundred, failed to cross the 300 plus runs, thanks to the excellent bowling at the death overs restricting the visitors at 286 for nine. Chasing 287 was a daunting task when in-form batsman Shikhar Dhawan was not available to bat due to a shoulder injury.

Rohit and Rahul provided an excellent platform and added 69 runs in the opening partnership. After the departure of Rahul on 19, Rohit and skipper Kohli produced a fine exhibition of batting and struck the hope of the visitors to win the series. Meanwhile, Rohit scored another massive hundred while Kohli contributed 89 runs in India’s 2-1 series triumph. It was brilliant stuff from Kohli and his troops.

Hockey team makes India proud

Like the cricketers, India hockey team made sports lovers of the country ecstatic through its dream debut at the FIH Hockey Pro League. The team won back to back matches against world number three the Netherlands at Kalinga Stadium in Odisha. After beating the Dutch side 5-2 in the opening tie on Saturday. The hosts surpassed the visitors 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out encounter after both the teams played a 3-3 draw at the end of the regulation time.

The capacity crowd sailed at the Kalinga Stadium to watch a thrilling contest on Sunday. The hosts started from where they left on Saturday created plenty of chances and put lots of pressure on the visitors. But Oranje shirts drew the first blood by taking the lead through a penalty conversion by Van der Weerden in the 23-minute.

Men in blue restored parity within minutes through Lalit Upadhyay’s goal. But this joy was short-circuited by the Dutchmen scoring two more goals and took a commanding 3-1 lead. But Mandeep Singh (51st) and Rupinder Pal Singh (55th) dented the Netherlands defence twice in quick succession and stretched the match into the penalty shoot out. In the end, the hosts perished the visitors in tie-breaker and mustered five points in two games. India’s next outing in the Hockey Pro League would be against world champions Belgium, then with Australia next month.

Sania makes a winning return

Sania Mirza made a sensational comeback on the tennis court after a two-year lull winning the WTA Hobart International trophy partnering with partner Nadiia Kichenok after pipping out the Chinese pair Shaui Peng and Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-4 in a one-sided contest in one hour 21 minutes. The 33-year-old Hyderabad girl remained off the court in the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons after becoming a mother. Sania and Nadiia distributed USD 13,580 as prize money and earned 280 ranking points each for their winning effort. Sania’s next venture is the Australian Open and Tokyo Olympics.

Khelo India, a platform for budding athletes

Khelo India Youth Game is being held since 2018 with the purpose to hunt grassroots talents in the country. The 2020 edition was flagged off in Guwahati on January 9 will conclude on January 22. Maharashtra has been maintaining its lead in the medal tally with 60 gold in a total of 149 medals, while, Haryana is on the second spot with 45 gold out of 111 medals while Delhi is on the third place bagging 30 golds out of 97 medals.

Youth game is a superb platform for the young sportspersons of the country to display their hidden talent to impress the experts of various disciplines. Such efforts hopefully would fetch some medals in big events like the Olympics or other world championships.

There is no dearth of skilful athletes in India, but many of them never get exposure for the bigger sporting platforms. Such type of events will recognise budding and raw talent in the country. They need quality infrastructure, the facility of world-class coaches, and so on to enhance their respective games.

Shuttlers need to bounce back

PV Sindhu the ace shuttler has not been able to maintain her form since winning the world championship last year. Other Indian badminton players are sailing on the same boat. Therefore, India’s challenge at Indonesia Masters 2020 came to an early end. Sindhu ousted in the second round while male competitors followed her and failed to advance in the next round.

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics is not far away, but Indian shuttlers are faltering in most of the tournaments, and their early exit is a worry for the sports fans of the country. PV Sindhu and others have the chance to bring medals from the Olympics, but this kind of lacklustre performance will disappoint the sports lovers and nothing else. The hockey team is looking a strong contender to bring medal from Tokyo Olympics.