Indian Sportsman of the Decade – Team Sports

This decade has been a great one for sports in India, as we saw the rise of many youngsters, the rise of the Indian Football Team, a new cricket team, and many sporting clubs in various sports, and the clubs helped in the soaring of the new individuals.

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Lets have a look at the Sportsman of the Decade from Team Sports-

Sunil Chhetri – Football

Sunil Chhetri’s past decade started soaring after he joined Portuguese club, Sporting Lisbon’s reserve side in 2012 and following that year he was loaned out to Churchill Brothers, and led Churchill to the I-League title that same season. Later on, he joined Bengaluru FC, where his career reached to more heights with league’s highest with 14 goals and took the club to the title in its debut season. Chhetri led BFC to a magnificent runner-up finish at the 2016 AFC Cup, another I-League Title win, besides with two Federation Cup trophies in his first three years with it. In 2017, BFC made its inception to the ISL and enjoyed a memorable maiden ISL campaign. They finished as a runnerup and bagged the super cup under Chhetri’s leadership, with Chhetri scoring 14 goals that season. The following season he also led BFC to the ISL Title and the highest goal-scorer in the ISL with 42 goals from 82 matches.

He also led the young Indian National Team to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and to the Intercontinental Cup title in 2018. He was also named as ‘Asian Icon’ i by the Asian Football Confederation, and was conferred Padma Shri in 2019. Also, he is the most capped player for the national team, and second-highest goal scorer among active international footballers, being only second to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sardar Singh – Hockey

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The achievement list of the 34-year old is endless. He made his first appearance in 2006 during the Indo-Pak series, was labelled as “indisciplined” during his early years, and had his first breakout year in 2010 with the World Cup and Commonwealth Games at the home. He made it to the FIH All-stars twice, in 2010 and 2011, becoming the only second Indian player to do so. Also, he is one of the most-capped international hockey players with 314 caps and was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2012, Padma Shri in 2015, and Khel Ratna in 2018.

He led the country for almost eight years after getting the since 2008 when he was 22, including one of the youngest to captain India. He has been part of the Indian Hockey Team in their every successful campaign, including Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asia Cup, World League, Champions Trophy, and Asian Champions Trophy, by playing an important role in the defence, attack, and also midfield.

Virat Kohli – Cricket

Virat Kohli is one of the best of all-time greats in the world of cricket, as he is the only player to have scored more than 20,000 runs overall in all formats in the decade 2010-2019. He is also one of the players to have an average of 50 in all three forms. He also has the most number of double centuries in Tests to his name and even the only Indian cricket team captain to be nominated in all five men’s categories in the ICC Player of the Decade Award. His batting style has brought a revolution in the cricketing world, and his consistency in every condition against every opponent is exceptional.

During the third ODI against Australia on December 2020, Virat Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the fastest player to reach 12,000 runs in ODIs.  Also, Skipper Virat Kohli has reached this mark in his 251st ODI, and 242nd inning. In comparison, Sachin Tendulkar took 309 matches and 300 innings to reach the mark. Being the second-highest scorer for India in One Day International Cricket being behind Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 18,426 runs from 463 ODIs. He is also the fastest batsman to cross the 10,000 run-mark in his 205th inning. 

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