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Who are the top contenders in Indian sports?

From cricket pitches to badminton courts, who shines the brightest?

Discover the most popular athletes from India and witness how they’ve transformed the landscape of their respective sports.

Also check out our post about theΒ most popular soccer players from India.

#1 Sachin Tendulkar

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Cricket
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1973
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2011 ICC World Cup Winner

Sachin Tendulkar, widely regarded as the greatest batsman in cricket history, has had an illustrious career spanning over two decades. His exceptional skills, passion, and humility have made him a true icon of the sport, touching countless lives in the process.

Away from the cricket field, Tendulkar’s numerous philanthropic initiatives showcase his unwavering dedication to social causes, further cementing his legendary status.

#2 Virat Kohli

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Cricket
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1988
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2018 ICC Cricketer of the Year

Virat Kohli is an Indian cricket superstar, known for his aggressive playing style and exceptional batting skills. As the captain of the Indian national team, he has led the team to numerous victories, setting several world records along the way.

Off the field, Kohli is actively involved in numerous charitable endeavors and has taken a stand on various social issues, making him an influential figure of his generation.

#3 Mary Kom

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Boxing
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1983
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 6 World Amateur Boxing Championships Gold Medals

Mary Kom is a trailblazer in Indian boxing, with her incredible achievements earning her the nickname ‘Magnificent Mary.’ As one of the most decorated female boxers in the world, she has broken stereotypes and inspired a whole new generation of female athletes in India.

Outside of the ring, Mary Kom is actively involved in social causes and community development, further contributing to her iconic status.

#4 P.V. Sindhu

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Badminton
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1995
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2019 Badminton World Championship Gold Medal

P.V. Sindhu has emerged as a dominant force in the world of badminton, with numerous impressive achievements under her belt. Her aggressive playing style and determination have made her a fan favorite and an inspiration to aspiring athletes.

Off the court, Sindhu has championed various social causes and contributed to the growth of badminton in India.

#5 M.S. Dhoni

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Cricket
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1981
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2007 ICC T20 World Cup, and 2011 ICC World Cup Winner

M.S. Dhoni, a true legend in the world of cricket, is renowned for his cool and composed demeanor and unmatched leadership skills. As the former captain of the Indian national cricket team, Dhoni has led India to numerous victories and has left an indelible impact on the sport.

His humility and philanthropic activities add to his immense popularity both on and off the field.

#6 Saina Nehwal

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Badminton
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1990
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist

Saina Nehwal is a celebrated Indian badminton player who has consistently represented her nation with distinction. Her numerous titles and medals have not only made her a role model for aspiring athletes but also paved the way for the growth of badminton in India.

Beyond the badminton court, Saina is admired for her humility and dedication to various social causes.

#7 Sania Mirza

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Tennis
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1986
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 6 Grand Slam Doubles Titles

Sania Mirza, India’s most successful female tennis player, has made waves on the global stage with her exceptional skills and infectious charisma. Throughout her career, she has shattered numerous records and inspired countless girls to take up tennis in India.

Apart from her on-court exploits, Sania is known for her advocacy for gender equality and various philanthropic endeavors.

#8 Viswanathan Anand

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Chess
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1969
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 5-time World Chess Champion

Viswanathan Anand, a true legend in the world of chess, is often considered one of the greatest chess players of all time. His immense talent, strategic genius, and sportsmanship have earned him immense respect and admiration from players and enthusiasts worldwide.

Anand’s influence has popularized chess in India, inspiring a new generation of budding chess players to follow in his footsteps.

#9 Milkha Singh

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Track and Field
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1929
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 1958 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal (200m & 400m)

Milkha Singh, also known as ‘The Flying Sikh,’ has left an indelible mark on Indian sports for his exceptional achievements in track and field. His incredible success and inspiring story from adversity to triumph have made him a true icon in India’s sports history.

Off the track, Milkha’s dedication to inspiring the next generation and his numerous philanthropic efforts have further solidified his legendary status.

#10 Kapil Dev

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Cricket
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1959
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup Win as Captain

Kapil Dev, one of India’s finest all-rounders, is renowned for his role in leading India to its first-ever Cricket World Cup victory in 1983. His fearless playing style and exceptional leadership qualities have made him a true inspiration for generations of cricketers.

Post-retirement, Kapil Dev has been active in various philanthropic initiatives, contributing to society both on and off the cricket field.

#11 Rani Rampal

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Field Hockey
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1994
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2017 Asia Cup Gold Medal

Rani Rampal, the captain of India’s national women’s hockey team, has been instrumental in leading the team to numerous victories and accolades. Her incredible skills, determination, and on-field leadership have made her an icon in Indian hockey.

Off the field, Rani has been an advocate for the empowerment of girls and women and actively works to uplift underprivileged communities.

#12 Abhinav Bindra

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Shooting
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1982
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist (10m Air Rifle)

Abhinav Bindra holds the distinction of being India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist, having secured the top spot in the 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His relentless pursuit of excellence and unwavering focus on the sport have made him a true inspiration for budding Indian shooters.

In addition to his achievements in shooting, Bindra has also contributed to the development and growth of sports in India through various administrative roles and mentorship programs.

#13 Bhaichung Bhutia

  • πŸ† Sport(s): Soccer
  • πŸŽ‚ Born in: 1976
  • πŸ₯‡ Biggest Achievement: 3-time AIFF Player of the Year (Indian Football)

Bhaichung Bhutia, fondly known as the ‘Sikkimese Sniper,’ is one of the most talented soccer players produced by India. His skill, determination, and passion have made him a role model for budding footballers across the nation, inspiring numerous youngsters to take up the beautiful game.

Beyond the soccer field, Bhutia has dedicated his efforts to promoting football in India and mentoring young talent, as well as being actively involved in various social causes.


Who is the greatest athlete in the history of India?

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar is considered the greatest athlete in the history of India.

Who is the most popular female athlete from India?

Badminton player Saina Nehwal is the most popular female athlete from India.

Which sport has the most popular athletes from India?

Cricket has the most popular athletes from India.

Which athlete from India is the most popular internationally?

Cricket player Virat Kohli is the most internationally recognized athlete from India.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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