Year in Review: Hits and misses for Indian sports and entertainment in 2019

The year 2019 was a very eventful one for Indian sports. In cricket, under Virat Kohli’s leadership, the national team scaled new heights, in all departments of the game. Mostly known for its strengths in batting, the India cricket team developed itself as a force in bowling, thanks to the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.


In batting, Kohli himself broke the record of Sachin Tendulkar to score 20,000 international runs across formats in just 417 innings. There also was some heartbreak for cricket fans, as New Zealand beat India in the semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup.


Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, after being appointed the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), gave a glimpse of his administrative skill as India played their first Pink Ball Test cricket. In Badminton, P V Sindhu became the first Indian to win World Championship gold.


India’s film industry, Bollywood, meanwhile, saw the release of movies on some subjects that were hotly debated. Kabir Singh, for instance, was panned by critics for its misogynist content, even as the Shahid Kapoor-starrer went on to be a big hit at the box-office.


Business Standard lists key sporting events that drove public emotions and movies that sparked debates:

Uri: The Surgical Strike drummed up patriotic feeling in country (Jan 11)

1 / 10
A dramatisation of India’s surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in retaliation for the terror strike on the Uri Army camp, Uri: The Surgical Strike drummed up patriotic feeling that some felt were too jingoistic.

War films make me uneasy. It’s probably my “libtard” upbringing. But watching Uri: The Surgical Strike made me realise I was particularly uncomfortable with Indo-Pak war films — the hyper-masculine construct of the “dushman” (enemy), a hyper-nationalistic version of patriotism and a hyper-emotive background score where the drum beats are supposed to get you to rise from your seat and thump your chest. READ ON…

Gully Boy gave a new anthem in ‘Apna time aayega’ (Feb 14)

2 / 10
Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, inspired by the life and times of Mumbai rappers, gave the nation its new anthem: “Apna time aayega! (Our time will come.)” Too bad its Oscar run ended without a nomination.

The opening scenes of Gully Boy threaten to be yet another cinematic exploration of the Dharavi phenomenon. Film after film has fetishised the glorious Mumbai-slum life, where people win the world with nothing more than hearts of gold. Gully Boy is blissfully free of this cringe-inducing celebration of poverty. READ MORE ON…

Hima Das wins 5 gold medals in one month (April 20)

3 / 10
Hima Das claimed her 5th gold in the month, returning successfully to the 400 m at Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

Indian sprinter Hima Das extended her sensational run by claiming her fifth gold of the month as she returned to her pet 400m competition with a season-best time of 52.09 seconds. The timing on Saturday slower than her personal best of 50.79 seconds, which she managed at the Jakarta Asian Games and she also narrowly missed out on the World Championships qualifying mark of 51.80. READ MORE HERE…

Feminists and critics panned Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh (June 21)

4 / 10
Feminists and critics panned Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh for the violence and misogyny it seemed to celebrate, but its makers laughed all the way to the bank, proving that sexism still sells in India.

Don’t get me wrong. If Kabir Singh was a real person, he would be among the nice ones. All that this ace surgeon needs is the obeisance of a beautiful woman to stay the course of excellence. What if he gets angry often? The man loves and protects his woman with all his might. It’s not his fault that the woman is drawn to his terrifying authority. After all, he is a go-getter, a real-life superhero, who can drink and smoke his way through a football match and fix and break bones with unrivalled accuracy. READ MORE ON…

Kohli becomes fastest batsmen to score 20,000 runs (June 27)

5 / 10
Indian Men’s Cricket Team captain Virat Kohli had a stellar run this year. He beat records of Sachin Tendulkar to score 20,000 runs in international cricket, across all formats, reaching the landmark in his 417 innings. Tendulkar — and Brian Lara — had both taken 453 innings

Indian captain Virat Kohli became the quickest batsman to complete 20,000 international runs as he touched the milestone in his 417th inning. Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies batsman Brian Lara jointly held the record previously as they completed the feat in their 453rd inning. READ MORE HERE…

India cricket team World Cup exit (July 10)

6 / 10
India, a favourite to win the Cricket World Cup (WC) this year, failed to chase down a modest target of 240 that New Zealand set it in the semi-final of the tournament. A team full of superstars, it will have to wait for another four years for a shot at WC glory.

In the first semifinal of ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2019, India cricket team's famed top-order imploded on a day when it mattered most as a gritty New Zealand cricket team survived a swift counter attack from Ravindra Jadeja to win by 18 runs at The Old Trafford in Manchester. Indian top-order had one failure due and much to their horror, the semi-final proved to be their dooms day. Jadeja (77 off 59 balls) used every ounce of his 'bits and pieces' skill but the 'men in blue' could only get as far as 221 in 49.3 overs in pursuit of 240. New Zealand made it to their second successive final, with credit going to their pacers' -- Matt Henry (3/37) and Trent Boult's (2/42) -- deadly opening spell and Lockie Ferguson's steely nerve in the penultimate over. READ MORE HERE ...

Dutee Chand became the 1st Indian to win gold medal in 100m race (July 10)

7 / 10
Dutee Chand became the first Indian to win a gold medal for a 100m sprint at a global meet. She clocked 11.32 seconds for her winning run at the World University Games in Naples

Sprinter Dutee Chand won the 100m gold medal World University Games in Napoli. Chand won the gold medal in just 11.32 seconds. She also holds the 100m national record with 11.24 seconds. READ MORE ON…

Sindhu became 1st Indian to win badminton World Championships gold (Aug 25)

8 / 10
P V Sindhu became the first Indian to win the badminton World Championships gold by beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Sindhu won straight sets — 21-7, 21-7 — in a match that lasted only 38 minutes.

P V Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win badminton World Championships gold by beating familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lop-sided final Basel on Sunday. The Indian won 21-7 21-7 in the summit clash that lasted just 38 minutes. READ MORE….


Mary Kom wins bronze in World Women’s Boxing Championship (Oct 12)

9 / 10

Six-time champion Mary Kom lost to Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu in the semi-final of the World Women’s Boxing Championship. She called for a review of the decision, but had to settle for bronze. Story link: Six-time world champion Mary Kom was knocked out of the Women's World Boxing Championships on Saturday after facing a defeat in the semi-finals of the tournament. As a result, she would now have to settle for a bronze medal. Turkey's European champion Busenaz Cakiroglu defeated the 36-year-old 4-1 in the 51-kg category. She had proceeded towards the semis after defeating Rio Olympics bronze medalist Ingrit Valencia 5-0 in the quarter-final. READ MORE ON…

India beat Bangladesh in their first-ever Pink ball Test (Nov 22)

10 / 10
Eden Gardens in Kolkata hosted the first day-night Test on Indian soil, where the home team took on Bangladesh. India won the match by an innings and 46 runs, with skipper Virat Kohli scoring 136.

An untested pink ball was not able to reduce the glaring gulf between the two teams as India bulldozed Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in their first ever day-night Test to record a 12th home series win in a row. With Bangladesh resuming their second innings at 152 for six on day three and trailing India by 89 runs, it was simply a matter of time for the home team to complete formalities. READ MORE ON…

Read our full coverage on Year in Review

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