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Runs, wickets, medals and glory beckon India in 2024 | More sports News – Times of India


In the sporting calendar, an Olympic year consumes everything – the months leading up to the Games brim with anticipation and stories of preparations for war. The months after are dominated by memories of great performances, stories of grit, determination, joy, grief, of new stars making their breakthroughs, and last hurrahs for the fading ones.
Cricket mania continues
But this is also a cricket World Cup year. Lest there be any doubt about the frenetic, near-insane stacking of cricket tournaments in the year, there are, in fact, three cricket World Cups in 2024.
In February, the India Under-19s will defend their title in South Africa. India are the most successful side in the tournament’s history, having won it five times, including in 2022 under the captaincy of Yash Dhull.
Hunting for ICC trophies
In June, it will be the senior team’s turn to go searching for that elusive ICC trophy when the T20 World Cup begins in the US and the Caribbean. It’s been a bittersweet year for Indian cricket.
As a team, we were rock solid, dominant, often sensational. Kohli rediscovered what it meant to be the world’s best batter, scoring a record-shattering 765
runs at the ODI World Cup at an average of over 95, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI centuries en route.
New trump cards?
India made the final of the World Cup in such belligerent fashion that you could be forgiven if you’re in denial that they lost the final. To the same team they lost the final of the World Test Championship earlier this year, Australia. So, all that dominance and nothing to show for it.
Can India’s young, brash IPL-fuelled youth brigade break that jinx in 2024? Ishan Kishan, Rinku Singh and Arshdeep Singh instead of Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Mohammed Shami as trump cards?
The other Team India
September, it’ll be the turn of India’s women’s cricket team to showcase their skills. 2024 may be a breakthrough year for India’s women cricketers with the promise of transforming the usually dire financial as well as on-field health of the women’s game. If the men have not won an ICC trophy in 13 years, the women have never won one.
Future world champs?
Yet, the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana have gone from strength to strength, while wonderful new players like the 18-year-old fast bowler Titas Sadhu have emerged.
This is a team that has been in three World Cup finals, including the T20 version in 2020, without winning one. Perhaps this will be the year for the Indian women’s team to grab a world title.
Olympics, the big one
But, finally, all roads lead to Paris. The Olympics. That eternal question: can India show up and show the world? Who will pull off a miracle, and who, a shock win?
As a nation, we’re finally getting some things right when it comes to Olympic sports, including allowing athletes to determine their own programmes while
providing them the funding they need.
Prepped for success
This has meant that our finest athletes – Neeraj Chopra, Mirabai Chanu, Murali Sreeshankar, Avinash Sable, Parul Chaudhary and others – train under the best coaches in the world, in ideal training environments, with the backing of sports science, cutting-edge medical care, and the gear and equipment they deserve.
India’s golden boy
We’re no longer dependent on spectacular surprises to get us Olympic medals. We can depend on Neeraj Chopra to triumph – the man won India’s first athletics world title this year, got his second Asian title, won four of the six competitions he entered, and came second-best in the other two.
Another star rising
We can even expect a second medal in men’s javelin from Kishore Jena, who has come in Chopra’s wake and had a breakthrough year, giving the world champion a run for his money at the Asian Games, narrowly coming second, securing his Olympic berth and notching a distance worthy of an Olympic medal.
Other medal hopefuls
Sreeshankar has some of the world’s leading jump distances in the last two years, his personal best good enough for an Olympic medal. Then we have our women fighters.
The boxer Nikhat Zareen is in sublime form and won her second straight world title this year. The Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain won her first world title and finished with a silver medal at the Asian Games. Both look good for a medal in Paris, as does the 18-year-old wrestling sensation Antim Panghal, who, in her debut senior year, won a medal in every major competition in 2023.
But wrestling as a whole has faced a setback over the scandal involving the former WFI chief, affecting preparations for Paris.
India took a leap at the 2023 Asian Games, winning a massive 37 more medals than their previous best. There is little reason to doubt that Paris 2024 will be our best Olympic performance ever.


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