Star India batter Virat Kohli and former opener Gautam Gambhir always trigger the flashback of their infamous 2013 IPL spat which has resulted in many believing the presence of a rift between the two stalwarts of Indian cricket
Gautam Gambhir & Virat Kohli (Pic: AFP)
Star India batter Virat Kohli and former opener Gautam Gambhir may have played together for India for some time and were both part of the triumphant 2011 World Cup team, but the duo always triggers the flashback of their infamous 2013 IPL spat which has resulted in many believing the presence of a rift between the two stalwarts of Indian cricket. Monday had a similar tale to tell.
Both Kohli and Gambhir added another chapter to their bitter rivalry as they indulged in an ugly face-off after Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Lucknow Super Giants by 18 runs. Some found it juvenile, a few others liked the spice and the idea of intense rivalry, while the firm believers of the 'Gentlemen's Game' thought it could have been avoided.
So what happened in Lucknow on Monday night? An eyewitness, who was in one of the team dug-outs, gave a lowdown of events to PTI.
"You saw on TV that Mayers and Virat were walking side by side for a few metres post-match. Mayers asked Kohli why was he constantly abusing them and Virat, in turn, questioned why was he (Mayers) 'staring' at him? Before that (Amit) Mishra had complained to umpire about Virat constantly abusing Naveen (ul-Haq), who is a No. 10 batter.
"Gautam, sensing that things could turn ugly, pulled Mayers and told him not to have a conversation, when Virat made a comment. The heated exchange that followed seemed a bit juvenile," he said.
"Gautam asked 'Kya bol raha hain bol' (What were you saying?) and Virat replied, 'Maine aapko kuch bola hi naahin, aap kyon ghus rahein ho' (Why are you coming in between when I haven't told you anything). Gautam responded, 'Tuney agar mere player ko bola hai, matlab tune meri family ko gaali diya hai. (You abused my player and that's like abusing my family) and Virat's reply was, 'Toh aap apne family ko sambhal ke rakhiye'. (Then you take care of your family). Gambhir's final reply before they were separated was, 'Toh ab tu mujhe sikhayega...' (So now I have to learn from you...)."
Not to forget, it was no less than a 'deja vu' moment for the Lucknow crowd who had seen the duo nearly come to blows in the 2013 edition when Kolkata Knight Riders were playing Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kohli was then the superstar-in-the-making and Gambhir, out of the Indian team, was a belligerent captain at KKR. Cut to 2023, Gambhir is a TV pundit and also the mentor of LSG, while Kohli remains to be in charge of his Playing XI, even though Faf du Plessis is the skipper on paper.
However, before the world became acquainted with this rivalry, the two Delhi cricketers shared a heartwarming moment in 2009, when his 'senior' Gambhir displayed a heartwarming gesture towards a young Kohli after the latter scored his first international century in an ODI against Sri Lanka. While Gambhir was adjudged the Player of the Match award for his unbeaten 150, he shared the trophy with the former RCB captain in a bid to make him feel special and render the moment memorable.
"I didn't do anything I shouldn't have done. You might go on to score 100 international hundreds, which I am sure he will because that's the kind of player he is but you will always remember your first international hundred. I remember my first international hundred that was in Bangladesh and the first ODI hundred against Sri Lanka," Gambhir once recalled during his interaction with Jatin Sapru on his YouTube show 'Over and Out'.
Chasing a massive 316 in Kolkata, India lost both their openers, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, within the fourth over. Gambhir then combined with Kohli to stitch a 224-run stand to help India chase down the target with 11 balls to spare.
Watch the video below.
Gautam Gambhir gave his MOM award to Virat Kohli when Kohli scored his first ODI 100. Golden days.pic.twitter.com/4LBrLpdpBB— Farrago Abdullah Parody (@abdullah_0mar) May 2, 2023