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Man’s Life HOT or NOT List – June 2021

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We’re halfway through 2021 and it’s already turning out to be a scintillating year of sport across the globe, even under the current scenario of the Covid19 pandemic. The Euros have thrown up a few surprises and the action on track, on the courts and in the world of Cricket is only getting better as the year builds further; and we haven’t even got to the Olympics yet! So before we get there, let’s take a look and who’s scorching hot and who’s ice cold on our Man’s Life Hot or Not List for June 2021…


▶ Max Verstappen & Red Bull Racing


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To kick off the HOT list, it’s the King of the Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen, who went two-wins-from-two races in Austria at the Styrian & Austrian Grand Prix in front of the Orange Army at Red Bull Racing’s home turf, to now become a title favourite, 32 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The hills were alive in Austria with the sound of Verstappen’s supporters as the Dutchman put in two flawless performances that has now left Hamilton and Mercedes reeling without a win in the last 5 races of the 2021 Formula One calendar.

▶ Italy


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Italy have been the best team at Euro 2020 by far and are now one of the favourites to go all the way and lift the title. After winning all three group games without conceding a goal, Italy are now through to the semi-finals after a wonderful performance against Belgium in the last 8. Roberto Mancini’s side have displayed the perfect mix of experience and youth are the only team to have won all 5 of their games so far in the tournament.

▶ England – The Three Lions


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One team that is in red-hot form so far at Euro 2020 is England. Gareth Southgate’s side aren’t playing the expansive, attractive, attacking football that pleases the eye but unlike other nations, they are getting the job done and are through to the semi-finals. England are yet to concede a single goal in the tournament so far and the likes of leader Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka have been outstanding in front of goal. It’s been a long wait for England fans but it feels like this summer…football is finally coming home!

▶ Phoenix Suns


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Only 2 years after suffering the second worse season in the franchise’s history, the Phoenix Suns are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993. The Suns dominated the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals and are now heavy favourites to win the NBA championship in 2021 thanks to the outstanding leadership of Chris Paul and the growing influence of Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.

▶ Novak Djokovic


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The current World Number 1 has continued his record-breaking run in 2021 and following a monster performance on clay at Roland Garros, he seems untouchable and remains the firm favourite for the Wimbledon title too. The Serb has been in red hot form this year, winning both the Australian Open and the French Open, in his chase of the revered Golden Slam, with a potential Olympic medal on offer too. He’s one title away from Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer’s all-time Slam record but in the form that he’s in, he might just go past them in this calendar year!

▶ Marc Marquez


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Marc Marquez endured a difficult comeback to the top flight at MotoGP with intense pain, lack of strength in his right shoulder and multiple crashes to look a shade of the 6-time MotoGP Champion that he is. In a sensational and emotional turn of events though, Marquez put in an absolutely special ride to win the German Grand Prix for a record 11th consecutive time and remain the King of The Ring at the Sachsenring.  The Spaniard completed a fairytale comeback and returned to the top step of the podium 581 days after his last win!



▶ Pujara and Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara
[Source: ANI]

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, the two mainstays of India’s Test batting unit haven’t exactly lived up to their billing recently and when a match of the magnitude of the World Test Championship final ends up slipping away, the two men are back under the scanner as the scapegoats on the Test arena. Their form this time hasn’t helped the cause, as Pujara has gone without a century for 31 months now and Rahane has just one fifty in 13 innings. With the kind of talent pool India has waiting in the wings, and the two men not getting any younger, the upcoming series vs England could mark the biggest test in their Test careers.

▶ Sri Lankan Cricket


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After getting destroyed against England in the T20 series things have gone from bad to worse in the ODIs for the Sri Lankan cricket team. 3 Sri Lankan players – Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka, were spotted roaming outside in a public space in Durham ahead of their first ODI against England, thereby breaching the Bio bubble. After investigation, SLC confirmed the trio will be flown home with immediate effect and suspended from all forms of cricket. Arjuna Ranatunga, meanwhile with his random comments on India’s tour of Sri Lanka hasn’t helped their cause either!

▶ Germany


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Germany have been ICE COLD in June after crashing out of Euro 2020 in disappointing fashion with a 2-0 loss to England in the Round of 16. For a squad that is littered with world class talent, Germany failed to turn up this summer and have now failed at the international stage in two successive tournaments. Majority of the blame has to be handed to their legendary manager Joachim Low, who perhaps set this Germany team up for failure with their unusual three at the back system that had one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, Joshua Kimmich, playing as a wing back.

▶ France


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From formation changes to rifts in the dressing room to parents fighting in the stands, France’s campaign at Euro 2020 has been embroiled in controversy from the word go and has ultimately ended with them being knocked out after a lacklustre performance against Switzerland in the Round of 16. France bottled a 3-1 lead in the final 10 minutes of the tie and ended up losing on penalties after their star man Kylian Mbappe missed the decisive spot kick which sent them home without any hope of silverware.