Natural athelete produced by India

All other sports such as squash, badminton,volleyball, atheletics etc which are not covered by any other forum heading can be entered in this forum

Moderator: Moderators

rajitghosh
Member
Member
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:04 am
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5

Natural athelete produced by India

Post by rajitghosh »

Wanted to get the forum's opinion on the most natural atheletes produced by India. The 1st name that comes to my mind is Leander Paes. A few cricketers fit the bill. Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Mohammed Kaif, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja. Any thoughts on this?



User avatar
prasen9
Member
Member
Posts: 13928
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:49 pm
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: State College, PA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by prasen9 »

If we are talking skills, not necessarily just fitness, Chuni Goswami.



User avatar
Atithee
Member
Member
Posts: 3743
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:14 pm

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by Atithee »

“Athletes” like PT Usha? Milkha Singh? Dhyanchand? Padukone? Cricketers don’t even come close to displaying the full athleticism in my opinion, regardless of how good they are when you get to stand around for extended times during every game.



User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 26662
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by jayakris »

Leander Paes is the first name that comes to my mind. IM Vijayan (football), Jimmy George (volleyball), PT Usha (sprint), TC Yohannan (long jump) are the Kerala athletes I will add. I too had always heard that Chuni Goswamy was one of the greatest among footballers, but don't know how good an athlete he was. Milkha Singh has got to be in the list.

I will only add some of the best fielders from cricket as top athletes (not forward short leg fielders, so Solkar doesn't count). Maybe Jadeja?



User avatar
Atithee
Member
Member
Posts: 3743
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:14 pm

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by Atithee »

Leander has primarily played doubles. He is not the first person that comes to my mind.



User avatar
prasen9
Member
Member
Posts: 13928
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:49 pm
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: State College, PA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by prasen9 »

jayakris wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:00 pm
I too had always heard that Chuni Goswamy was one of the greatest among footballers, but don't know how good an athlete he was.
It all depends upon the term "athlete". I was using it to mean all-round athlete. Chuni played football for India and was captain of a team in the Ranji finals. I was looking at multi-sport athletes. Leander was supposedly good in football and fantastic volleyer and hands. Natural athlete. Like I said, I was not looking at speed and fitness per se.



rajitghosh
Member
Member
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:04 am
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by rajitghosh »

When I asked the question I meant athletic ability in terms of good speed, agility, hand eye coordination and skills. That is why the first 2 names that came to my mind were Leander and Kapil. I never watched Chuni Goswami play football though I have seen him play tennis at a fairly advanced age.



User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 26662
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by jayakris »

Atithee wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:20 pm
Leander has primarily played doubles. He is not the first person that comes to my mind.
He is definitely the first name that comes to my mind, even before PT Usha. That is because of what we have heard -- that he was one of the best sprinters in India at a young age and may have been the best football talent in Kolkata at age 15 too. Stuff like that. Not confirmed, and they may be just rumors and hearsay. And it is certainly not his doubles play that makes me say it. I saw a lot of his singles in early years. Having seen how fast he moved on court in his singles days, I don't think I have found any tennis player as fast. There may have been others like Chang who had better "tennis speed," meaning instincts to run to the right place and get in position to hit winners, but I really have not seen anybody with the pure quickness and reflexes of Leander on a tennis court. Superb twitch muscles, I guess. His wrist skills and eye-hand coordination is just gravy to the athleticism (see the recent "lockdown no-look cooking-pan volley challenge" video!). All those things are what makes me say that he just might be the most pure natural athlete India has produced. Anyway, he is the first one that comes to my mind.



User avatar
prasen9
Member
Member
Posts: 13928
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:49 pm
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: State College, PA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by prasen9 »

Considering that his father played hockey for India and won a bronze medal in the Olympics and mother represented India in basketball both sports that require speed and some amount of hand-eye coordination and given his net play, there is enough evidence to say he was "naturally athletic" more or less per Rajit's definition.

PT Usha fails because she had the speed and agility but we have no clue about her hand-eye coordination and "skills".

Chuni certainly had speed and skills as a footballer. Complete player As a cricketer, he had good hand-eye coordination I have no idea about his agility though. Anyone older than me who had seen him live can comment on that. I think it requires incredible natural talent to not only play cricket and football at the highest levels, but even in cricket, he could both bat and ball (swing), an all-rounder. You cannot get such versatility without natural athletic talent. That was my reasoning. Of the four criteria, I do not know about his agility/flexibility though.



Sin Hombre
Member
Member
Posts: 4329
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:59 pm
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Chicago

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by Sin Hombre »

I just don't see how Leander is the answer here.

Where is the evidence that he can run fast, or has a lot of endurance, has a lot of flexibility and can jump well, or has a lot of strength outside of hearsay (the kinds of which would make ABDV the greatest natural athlete of all time)

And when I say this, not compered to you and me, but to a high level athlete.

His reflexes and hand-eye coordination are definitely great.


The first name that comes to my mind is Kapil Dev. With his background and upbringing, it is hard to think of any better natural athletes we have produced.

Obviously, nothing compared to a LeBron James, Usain Bolt (or supposedly Bo Jackson).



User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 26662
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by jayakris »

Sin Hombre wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:44 pm
I just don't see how Leander is the answer here.

Where is the evidence that he can run fast, or has a lot of endurance, has a lot of flexibility and can jump well, or has a lot of strength outside of hearsay (the kinds of which would make ABDV the greatest natural athlete of all time)
Endurance, yes. He probably has the record for the longest period on court (and most games played) over three days at the Wimbledon. Final weekend in 1999. Eight matches and 25 sets during a 50-hour period when he played for roughly 14-15 hours. He needed multiple IVs to go through that and get a title in doubles and be runner-up in MxD. It is doubles, but still that is some unbelievable work.

Flexibility - yeah, he does have that. Have always had it. Watch any of his Davis Cup singles matches on grass in the 90s and you will see that. I don't know if there is an objective measure or test of flexibility we can find, if he has ever been tested on that. For the naked eye, I have not seen anybody but Barry Sanders and Eric Metcalf of Amercian football in the 90s, for better body flexibility (at similar size). But I am biased.

Speed, jumping ability, being the best footballer in Kolkata or India at age 15 and all that, I don't know... We only have hearsay on those things.

But who or what is ABDV? Sorry to be dense...



Sin Hombre
Member
Member
Posts: 4329
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:59 pm
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Chicago

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by Sin Hombre »

AB de Villiers, if you go by hearsay, he was the best cricketer, football, tennis, swimmer, golfer at age 15 in South Africa.

A lot of Indians have long believed that and eulogized him. I read a more recent interview where he said how it was massive exaggerations.

I don't think those examples help your case. Isner and Mahut played almost 12 hours in one match at Wimbledon and I would not think of that as endurance athletes. Djokovic playing more than 11 hours of grueling tennis to beat Murray and Nadal to win the 2012 (?) Australian open is a more appropriate example of endurance from tennis.

And I'll be honest, I don't think Leander scratches the surface on flexibility to someone like Djokovic (and I am not even a fan of Novak) with his returns on splits, or even a Monfils.



User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 26662
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by jayakris »

^^^ Oh, I don't follow cricket, so no idea, excpt I have seen the name de Villiers :)

But basically we are all giving opinions. No data. So agree to disagree. Leander is the best athlete I have seen from India, period. Just my opinion :)



rajitghosh
Member
Member
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:04 am
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by rajitghosh »

Bringing ABD or Isner or Mahut into the picture is not fair since the discussion is about Indians. Leander's reflexes at the net and his speed I feel makes him the best among Indians. Add to it his longetivity. As far as his stamina is concerned I remember the match where he beat Ivanisevic. It was a 5 setter played in searing heat and he beat Ivanisevic on stamina also. I am not a great fan of the argument that being Indian he could bear heat better. For someone who spends most of his time outside India even he would have to acclimatize to the Indian heat. And yes he was a good footballer. I have seen him dribbling a tennis ball at South Club. Someone with ability could only do that.
The only other candidate who comes close is Kapil. His catch in 1983 that changed the history of a nation was pure athletic ability. There is a video on YouTube all should see. In a one dayer in New Zealand in 1990 Kapil sprinted about 50 yards and saved a sure boundary. India won that match by a run, the very run he had saved. And of course his running between the wickets and hand eye coordination while batting were simply great.



User avatar
suresh
Member
Member
Posts: 6344
Joined: Thu May 22, 2003 12:08 pm
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Chennai, IN

Re: Natural athelete produced by India

Post by suresh »

I think Harmanpreet Kaur who plays for the Indian Women's cricket team is possibly a natural. In addition to being an all rounder, she pulls off spectacular catches while fielding. This is a bit like Kapil Dev. I suspect that she would be good at many sports if she played them.