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Top 5 Most Famous Athletes In India

It’s not easy to be a high-performance athlete - let alone a successful one. It takes years of hard work, pain, and relentless pursuit of excellence. It means that only hero-like athletes get to the top of the ranking, be it domestic or international. In this sense, Indian sports fans have a lot to be proud of. In this article, we’ll talk about the most famous athletes in the country, although not all of them are Indians.

Inspiration and Transpiration

A quote widely attributed to Thomas Edison says, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% transpiration”. That’s a reality that high-performance athletes know all too well. It takes dozens of hours of workout, a rigid diet, and a lifelong dedication. This is why the most famous athletes in India deserved to be chanted.

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle isn’t Indian. Yet, the Jamaican all-rounder is an idol for cricket fans nationwide. Gayle is 40 years old, a superstar in the T20 format, with no signs of ageing. Indeed, he’s the player with the most T20 matches in his career: 400 so far. Gayle is gifted in all three formats and is an important asset for his national team in Tests and ODIs too. We recommend you Meet Chris Gayle on 10CRIC to find out more about this phenomenal cricketer's life outside the pitch.

Chris Gayle credits part of its success with the bat to his diet. It mostly consists of low-fat and low-carb products, often homemade. The result of the diet clearly shows in his body and performance. Gayle was appointed the Man of the Tournament during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. He was also the Jamaican player of the year in 2010 and the most valuable player in the Indian Premier League in 2011.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli is another Indian superstar in the cricket world. He plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and is also the national team captain. Kohli has always been a high-quality player, since his career debut, in 2006. He’s an accomplished player in all formats in domestic and international competitions.

One of Kohli’s highest points in his Test career was when he scored 610 runs, in a match against Sri Lanka, in 2017. He’s among the best ODI players in history and is on the top of the rating as a batsman, with 909 points. Kohli is also one of the best scorers in T20, second only to his colleague, Rohit Sharma.

Virat Kohli suffered an injury on his cervical spine in 2018, forcing him to spend a while in recovery. Virat Kohli didn’t have any dietary restrictions until then but was advised by his doctor to quit meat. Kohli’s unregulated diet was taking a toll on his bones since his digestive system could process calcium. The cricketer became a vegetarian and was even mentioned during the Netflix documentary “Game Changers” about vegetarian athletes.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma, 35, is also among the finest athletes India has ever produced. The duet Sharma-Kohli has staged some of the most intense moments of the sport’s history. In the domestic league, he’s the captain for the Mumbai Indians, where he has spent most of his career.

However, he also played for the Deccan Chargers in 2008. During this period, his contract was something about USD 750,000 per year. Like all top players, Sharma has been tested across all formats. Given the statistics, Sharma is a T20 athlete, as his participation in the ODI and Test was less than amazing.

However, he was in the national team when they won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. In 2018, he was one of the Top 3 Indian batsmen, second only to, you guessed right, Virat Kohli. Sharma keeps his finest performance with a balanced diet that includes plenty of milk, oats, and honey.

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, most commonly called MS Dhoni, has one of the most impressive international careers among his peers. He played for the national team in all formats until 2020, closing a period of 16 years. Dhoni-led team India in T20 competitions from 2007 onward, during which period he was called “Captain Cool”. He’s also the only cricketer to have won all ICC trophies.

The right-hand batsman is a wicketkeeper and also one of the fastest players between wickets. Dhoni is famous for his deadly “helicopter shot”. Yet, he affirms he learned this technique from his friend, Santosh Lal, who is the actual inventor of the move.

Dhoni spent ten years in the captaincy of team India, always with inspiring results. Off duty, MS Dhoni also produces his autobiographical documentaries and a “mythological sci-fi movie” called Atharva. He received the Padma Bhushan civilian honour in 2018.

Sania Mirza

The tennis player Sania Mirza stands in a list full of cricketers. It’s not surprising that cricketers top the list of most popular athletes in India. After all, it’s the most popular sport in the country. Sania Mirza’s prominence is even more impressive in such a context.

She’s by far the most accomplished tennis player in the country, representing India in top international competitions. Mirza is the only tennis player in the country with six Grand Slam titles on the belt. Above all, Mirza became an inspiration for a new generation of athletes in this sport, especially among women.

She’s by far the most accomplished tennis player in the country, representing India in top international competitions. Mirza is the only tennis player in the country with six Grand Slam titles on the belt. Above all, Mirza became an inspiration for a new generation of athletes in this sport, especially among women.

A Starry Field

Starry-field
Starry-field

Indian sports fans can complain about the lack of heroes to praise. If almost all of the most famous athletes in the country are cricketers, it’s due to the sport’s wide popularity. Sania Mirza is an honourable exception on the list, who excelled on the national stage, even playing a not-so-popular sport.

About The Authors

Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller - Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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