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Vote: India's Sportsperson of 2015

Last updated on: December 27, 2015 01:38 IST

Leander Paes... Sania Mirza... Pankaj Advani.. Saina Nehwal... Ravichandran Ashwin... Anirban Lahiri... Vijender Singh...

Who do you think is India's Sportsperson of 2015? Make your selection below!

Sania Mirza

 

Pankaj Advani, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza gave India much to cheer this year.

While Advani remained the posterboy in billiards and snooker, Paes won three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles along with Martina Hingis while Sania Mirza won two doubles Grand Slams, also partnering the Swiss ace.

Anirban Lahiri also left a mark on the world stage as he finished tied fifth at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, the best by an Indian professional golfer in a Major.

Boxer Vijender Singh ventured into the unknown by signing up for the professional league. The move ended his India career, but he turned out to be an instant hit, winning his first three bouts.

Of course, no mention of sport in India can pass without cricket.

The year belonged to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who claimed 62 wickets in nine Tests, playing an integral role in India's crushing 3-0 victory over World No 1 South Africa.

The achievements are listed below, please read through and tick your pick.

Pankaj Advani, Snooker

Pankaj Advani

Pankaj Advani took his world title count to an unprecedented 15.

He clinched his 13th world title by winning the World 6-Red Snooker Championship convincingly in August. As defending champion he outplayed China's Yan Bingtao 6-2 in the final in Karachi.

Bengaluru's Golden Boy continued his fine run to win the World Billiards Championship, outplaying Singapore's Peter Gilchrist in the title round.

The victory was sweet revenge for Advani who was beaten by Gilchrist in the final of the Points format.

Then came the icing on the cake in November, when he pocketed his 15th world crown, beating China's Zhua Xintong 8-6 in the best-of-15 IBSF World Snooker final in Hurghada, Egypt.

The 30 year old also became the first cueist in history to win the short (6-Red) and long snooker formats in the same calendar year.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Cricket

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin underlined his status as one of the top spinners in world cricket with a superb showing in 2015.

In Test cricket, he leads the wicket-taking charts in 2015 with a tally of 62 wickets from nine Tests, at an average of 17.21, including seven five-wicket hauls, and two 10-wicket hauls.

He took a massive 31 wickets in the four-Test series against South Africa, helping India register a crushing 3-0 series win.

The off-spinner also played a key role in India's Test series triumph in Sri Lanka in August, claiming 21 wickets in the three Tests at an average of 18.

He also made an impact in One-Day Internationals, claiming 21 wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 4.27.

He was also one of India's top performers in the ICC World Cup, taking 13 wickets in the tournament.

Leander Paes, Tennis

Leander Paes

At 42, Leander Paes had one of the best years of his career, winning three Grand Slam titles.

He started the year by winning the Australian Open mixed doubles with Martina Hingis, his 15th Grand Slam title.

The duo continued their form, clinching the mixed doubles crown at Wimbledon.

The pair was unstoppable and won their third Grand Slam of the year, by winning the US Open in September.

In the process, Paes and Hingis became the first mixed doubles team since 1969 to win three Grand Slam titles in the same year.

Paes, who has 17th Grand Slam titles overall, has won nine Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, surpassing compatriot and former partner Mahesh Bhupathi's record of eight.

Sania Mirza, Tennis

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza also made it a special year for Indian tennis by winning two Grand Slam titles in 2015.

Teaming with Hingis, the Hyderabadi ace was crowned champion in the women's doubles at Wimbledon and US Open, while winning seven other tournaments.

The pair capped the year in grand style, storming to victory at the year-ending 2015 WTA Finals.

They have been unbeaten in their last 22 matches since the start of the US Open through triumphs in Asia at Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the WTA Finals, ending the year with an imposing 55-7 win-loss record.

They were deservedly named 'Women's Doubles World Champions' by the International Tennis Federation in recognition of their stupendous success in season 2015.

Saina Nehwal, Badminton

Saina Nehwal

It was a case of so-near-yet-so-far for Saina Nehwal in 2015.

While she won the Syed Modi International title by beating Carolina Marin in the final, she was beaten by the Spaniard in two important finals.

Saina finished runner-up to Marin at the All England and World Championships.

However, she rose to the World No 1 ranking in women's singles following her India Open triumph in March.

She finished runner-up to China's Olympic champion Li Xuerui at the China Open in November.

Anirban Lahiri, Golf

Anirban Lahiri

Anirban Lahiri made golf hit the headlines in India with a superb run in 2015.

In a watershed year, which saw him juggle between Asia, the US and Europe, he emerged as the new poster boy of Indian golf, clinching the Indian Open and Maybank Malaysian Open, earning a fifth place finish at the PGA Championship, qualifying for the prestigious President's Cup, claiming the Asian Tour Order of Merit and achieving a career-best ranking of World No 34 among others.

In February, he tasted his first triumph on the European Tour at the Maybank Malaysian Open, with a one-stroke victory over Bernd Wiesberger and followed it up by winning the Hero Indian Open in front of home fans.

Those victories helped Lahiri qualify for the 2015 Masters tournament, making him the third Indian to feature in the Masters after Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal.

In August, at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, he posted rounds of 70-67-70-68 for a score of -13 to finished tied for fifth place, the best finish by an Indian professional golfer in a Major.

The 28 year old also won the PGA of America's pre-tournament long-drive contest, hitting a 327-yard drive that won him a traditional gold money clip and a $25,000 charitable donation in his name.

He was named to the 2015 Presidents Cup squad, the first player from India to earn the honour.

Vijender Singh, Boxing

Vijender Singh
 
He dared to take the path to the unknown by giving up his India career and turning professional.

Vijender Singh, who won the Olympic bronze medal in 2008, kicked off his pro career in grand style.

In his first bout, he outclassed Sonny Whiting in October before demolishing Dean Gillen in the first round last month.

Just like the 30 year old's Olympic medal brought boxing into the limelight in India, his successful stint in pro boxing could open new avenues for the sport in the country.

He made it a hat-trick of victories by knocking out Bulgarian Samet Hyuseinov in less than two rounds in his third professional bout in Manchester.

Barely 35 seconds into the second round of what was to be the Indian's maiden six-round bout, Vijender cornered Hyuseinov with a flurry of combination punches, forcing the referee to stop the bout and award the Indian victory via a 'Technical Knockout'.

Photographs: Getty Images

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