From the T20 World Cup to the Tokyo Olympics: an exciting year in 2021 for Indian sports

2020 was a strange year in which there were more declines than increases, for many. And most sports stars were no exception. Short seasons, tournaments canceled, intense bio-bubbles and uncertainty dominated the sports fraternity, through the kindness of the pandemic coronavirus novel. As we step into a new decade, we have a lot to look forward to, especially when it comes to Indian sports.

Provided that the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, we have a number of mega sports events lined up. The biggest of all is the Tokyo Olympics, which will take place in Japan after being postponed from 2020. Then there are T20 World Cup, an exciting season in the Indian Premier League, most likely at home, the final of the World Test Championship, ends the extended season of the Indian Super League among other events.

Interesting cricket season ahead

Let’s start with the popular sport in India – cricket. India finished the year 2020 to the maximum, achieving a memorable victory in the Boxing Day test against Australia in Melbourne. In the absence of celebrities, including Captain Virat Kohli, visitors, skillfully led by Ajinkya Rahane advanced and delivered and silenced a few nayaysers.

And with the series tied at 1-1, India will enter the New Year’s test with a lot of optimism. So do the fans. India will start the New Year with the long-awaited 3 Test in Sydney and end the long Australian tour in Brisbane, after which a super exciting home season will begin.

The action will move to Ahmedabad and Chennai, which will host England in a series of 4 tests in bio-safe environments. India will then start preparations for the T20 World Cup with a series of 5 T20I matches in Ahmedabad. All eyes will be on rebuilding Motera Stadium, the largest in terms of capacity in the world.

Will the women’s cricket rise to its feet?

The Indian women’s cricket team is also expected to begin international assignments in March. There was a lot of discussion and, rightly, around the canceled rounds and the lack of opportunities for the senior women’s team after tour canceled in Australia. We can only hope that the Indian Cricket Control Board will get to work and ensure that Indian women receive high quality action before the 2022 World Cup. Remember that India has not played international cricket since T20 World for women from 2020 Cup.

The Indian Premier League will follow England’s series, after which India will visit England for a full series in August. The T20 World Cup will take place in India in October-November, and India is also expected to tour Sri Lanka. Don’t forget the ICC World Test Championship final at Lord’s. India is well placed to reach the final.

The Great Olympic Games in Tokyo

It can’t be bigger than this for Indian Olympic athletes, as they are expected to start the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. All roads will lead to Tokyo on July 23, as organizers hope to host the tournament, despite doubts about the Covid-19 situation.

India hopes for rich transportation. The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent delay of events caused a lot of butterflies, but elite athletes found ways to keep in mind. There is still a lot of uncertainty and it will be a challenge for the stars of India, but let’s hope for the best, right?

India is looking for medals in several key events, including shooting, badminton, boxing, wrestling and hockey. There are quite a few medal chances and if the early signs are anything to go by, India has a chance to surpass the best number of the 6 achieved at the London Olympics.

Keep an eye on men’s and women’s hockey teams. When it comes to shooting, we have quite a lot of chances for medals. Manu Bhaker (10 m female pistol), Apurvi Chandela (10 m female rifle), Anjum Moudgil (10 m female rifle), Abhishek Verma (10 m male pistol), Saurabh Chaudhary (10 m male air pistol) are among the favorites. Let’s not forget the possibility to impress in team events.

All hopes in badminton will continue PV Sindhu, who will lead in Tokyo Games as the reigning world champion. The pressure of expectations will be on Sindhu, but the young commuter will be eager to change the color of her medals. Don’t count things like Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Sai Praneeth, even if they haven’t sealed qualification berths yet.

Amit Panghal is the one who has to take care of boxing, while the favorites of fans Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia are preferred to impress at the Tokyo Fighting Games. Let us also pay attention to Deepak Punia and Narsingh Yadav, who are looking to complete a dramatic comeback after the turbulent last years.

And will we have a tennis medal? The pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan must fight over weight, while Leander Paes, who will pursue an Olympic record appearance, will not be willing to leave without a fight.

Neeraj Chopra can make India proud in Tokyo? Well, recent results certainly suggest that it is among the top competitors.

Football

While India’s men’s national men’s team will be looking forward to the FIFA AFC World Cup qualifiers, an interesting finish for the 11-team Indian Superliga awaits us as the season extends into March. The I-League, without Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, will start in January, and the fate of the tournament is balanced.

Do not miss …

It will be an interesting year for shuttles, as some young talents, including Lakshya Sen, will seek to make a mark at the highest level. People like HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth will be looking to return, while Sai Praneeth will want to extend his fine run. There are no Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, and the next challenger for Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen could be one of them from India.

It will also be interesting to see if Saina Nehwal manages to return strong and regain the dominant form in 2021. Watch out for PV Sindhu. The shuttle may not be content with anything less than first place.

With the start of the Pro League, Indian hockey teams will also receive quality exposure. Once again, many expectations are present for both the men’s and women’s teams at the Olympic Games. Can I deliver?

Let’s pay attention to Sumit Nagal as well. The young Indian star will want to build on what was a 2020 fine for him. He reached the second round of the US Open and has a wildcard entry to the Australian Open, which begins in February.

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