New Delhi: India’s Test captain Virat Kohli’s stocks continue to rise as he topped the list of the most searched sportsperson on Google India in 2015. Kohli is just ahead of Barcelona football club star Lionel Messi in the top 10 list that features as many as six Indians.
The top spot in the Google India search list caps off a mixed year for Kohli during which he took over the Test captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and after waiting for four Tests to taste success, won two back-to-back series – 2-0 against Sri Lanka and 3-0 against South Africa. And Messi, despite winning the treble with Barcelona, had to settle for second spot behind India’s Test captain.
Interestingly, Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2013, is in third place – thanks to his involvement in the Cricket All-Stars in November.
The Master Blaster is followed by India’s ODI and T20 skipper MS Dhoni, who has had quite a tough year in which he faced a lot of criticism from experts and fans alike for his captaincy in 2015. Another possible reason, aside from his popularity, is the fact that his IPL side, Chennai Super Kings was suspended for two years earlier this year.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo rounds off the top five. The debate of who among Messi and Ronaldo is the best footballer of this generation might continue to rage on, but the Argentine forward is clearly way ahead of Ronaldo in this list. The low rank for the Portugal forward is probably due to Real Madrid’s lackluster performance and lack of trophies in 2015.
Roger Federer, despite being in the twilight of his career, is still the favourite tennis player of Indians as he featured at No.6 on the list. India’s Sania Mirza, who is the only non-cricketer from India, is in seventh place in the list. Mirza won a total of 10 titles, including two Grand Slams (Wimbledon and US Open), in women’s doubles category in 2015 with her partner Martina Hingis.
She is followed by two more Indian cricketers in Rohit Sharma (No. 8), who recently got married to his long time girlfriend Ritika Sajdeh, and Yuvraj Singh (No. 9), who also got engaged to Bollywood actress Hazel Keech.
World No. 1 men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, occupies the tenth spot.
No athlete was able to find a place in the top 10 most searched people in India. But the fact that five of the top 10 sportsperson are Indian cricketers, highlights the popularity the sport enjoys in the country.
1. Virat Kohli
2. Lionel Messi
3. Sachin Tendulkar
4. M S Dhoni
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
6. Roger Federer
7. Sania Mirza
8. Rohit Sharma
9. Yuvraj Singh
10. Novak Djokovic