October has definitely been good for Indian sports. And when I talk about sports, I am not simply talking about ‘CRICKET’- We have won the Kabbadi World Cup 2016 (men’s and women’s) and the Asian Champions Trophy in Hockey, 2016 (men’s and women’s, again!) also.
Further, India won both the Tests and ODI series against New Zealand in the month of October. In what looked like a dominating win all round, India whitewashed the visitors 3-0 by winning the last Test by a huge margin of 321 runs and also gained the top spot in ICC rankings. The visitors looked bewildered throughout the entire Test series. Virat’s captaincy and Ashwin’s spin helped India win the series with ease.
Barring the 4-1 drubbing against Australia, India have had a successful year across all the formats. That is how we ‘kick started’ 2016- on a losing note. What followed was a journey full of howling successes. Dhoni’s captaincy in this series was under scrutiny, for there was Virat Kohli making headlines for his leadership abilities in the Tests. So, the 3-2 victory against New Zealand must have been a short but a much needed respite for Dhoni.
INDIA AT THE KABADDI WORLD CUP
Also the Indian Kabaddi team gave the country a lot to cheer for by winning the Kabaddi World Cup 2016. Ajay Thakur masterminded a memorable triumph against a spirited Iran with a terrific exhibition of raiding. It was the third clash between India and Iran in a Kabaddi World Cup final, and on all the three occasions India has consistently triumphed. After four editions of the Pro Kabbadi League, there was a lot of hype about the Kabaddi World Cup in the country and immense pressure on the Anup Kumar led Indian side. His team lost the opening match to Korea but hit back strongly in the remaining league matches and showed composure to turn the tide against Iran in the title match. India showed it’s wherewithal in a sport it has dominated since 1990. Similarly, the women’s team which had a relatively easy campaign proved their mettle over Japan in the final to clinch their World Champion title.
ASIAN CHAMPIONS TROPHY- HOCKEY
There was no doubt that India were the favourites going into the Asian Champions Trophy with Pakistan and South Korea not the force they once were, and other teams in the fray including the hosts Malaysia, not having enough big guns to put it across the line. But that doesn’t diminish the Indian Hockey team’s accomplishment a wee bit. It was a final against the arch rival Pakistan and winning it against them makes it a lot more special. India went into the title clash without its ace custodian P.R Sreejeesh and still managed to win by 3-2 to reclaim the Asian Champions Trophy title. Similarly, Indian eves beat China 3-2 to clinch their maiden Asian Champions Trophy making it a double delight for all sports fans in the country!
Overall it has been an amazing month for Indian sports. Let us wish to see more of such success in the coming months.
– Jyotsana Rawat
Edited by Mrinaal Datt
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