Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir fight: What really happened between the two Delhi Batsmen during IPL 2013 and what happened after?
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir made headlines during IPL 2013, when the two Indian cricketers clashed with each other on the field. Apart from being India teammates, the issue was also much talked about because of both the players hailing from Delhi.
Both Gambhir and Kohli were part of a very talented pool of Delhi batsman who were dominating the international scene.
For a very long time, Mumbai was India’s number one supplier of premium batsmen. From Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar and then Rohit Sharma, the national team was often fed a steady supply of top-notch willow wielders by the City.
The end of the 2000’s however, saw a shift in this trend. Mumbai, at least for a little while, had been replaced by Delhi.
Gambhir and another fellow Delhiite Virender Sehwag, played together in all formats of the game. A young Shikhar Dhawan had begun knocking on the selector’s doors; an even younger Virat Kohli had also begun charting his own journey to the top.
Virat took a lot of pressure off my shoulders
The Delhi players were quite cordial with each other and showed no signs of competitiveness. The youngsters looked up to the seniors and the latter made sure that the upcoming talent were carefully integrated in the squad.
In fact, Gautam Gambhir once handed his man of the match award to Virat Kohli to encourage the young upstart.
Back in 2009, the pair came together against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata after India lost Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag cheaply. Gambhir hit 150 not out while Kohli scored 107 runs, his maiden century, to help the men in blue chase down the target of 316 runs.
Gambhir was awarded the man of the match award for his performance, but declared that Kohli deserved the award more.
“The way Virat batted took a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” Gambhir told Ravi Shastri during the post-match presentation while explaining his decision.
Both batsmen featured in India’s World Cup winning squad.
The pair joined hands together in yet another rescue act against Sri Lanka. However, the occasion this time was a much more important one; the World Cup final.
Chasing 275 runs to win, India lost both Sachin and Sehwag in less than 7 overs. Gambhir and Kohli helped steadied the ship before MS Dhoni joined hands with the former and finished the game with the now famous, six.
Despite top scoring for the winning side, Gambhir was ignored for the man of the match this time. Captain Dhoni would go on to collect the award. His innings of 97 took a back seat to Dhoni’s 91 that included the match ending 6.
Many have picked this moment as one of the many points that led to the breakdown of the relationship between Dhoni and Gambhir.
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir fight
The Indian captain was accused by some sectors of favoring certain players over others. Gambhir did not seem to be a part of this alleged group. Kohli on the other hand, seemed to be one of the players who had Dhoni’s unequivocal backing.
While Kohli’s stocks continued to rise in the Indian team, Gambhir was slowly phased out from the side.
Some have assumed that this contributed to the bad blood between the two cricketers which seemed to be at full display during IPL 2013 when Royal Challengers Bangalore hosted Kolkata Knight Riders.
Both batsmen were captains of their respective sides. Gambhir was leading KKR while Kohli was in his first stint as RCB captain.
KKR had set RCB a target of 155 in 20 overs. Chris Gayle won the match for RCB, scoring 85 off 50 balls. However, the talking point of the match was the very public altercation between Kohli and Gambhir after the former lost his wicket.
With the score 75-1 after 9 overs, Virat Kohli went for a wild slash at Laxmipathy Balaji’s delivery. However, he ended up being caught at the sweeper cover region.
Instead of walking towards the pavilion however, Kohli walked over to the bowler and made a remark towards his way. Gambhir was not having any of it and immediately went to defend his bowler. Neither of the two backed down however, and soon a shouting match ensued.
The pair were finally stopped by another Delhi lad, Rajat Bhatia who got in between them and finally calmed Gambhir down.
Gambhir calls Virat ‘Cheeks’, while Virat addresses him as ‘Bhaiya’
Much ado was made about the incident. However, one of Gambhir’s friend played the issue down.
Unlike the Mumbai batsmen, who seemed to be full of grace, the Delhi batsmen seemed to be an angry lot with very little patience. In fact, Gambhir’s friend claims this is the reason why the altercation even took place to begin with.
“It’s the sheer desire to win at all costs that brought out the conflict between Virat and Gautam. In fact, both Gambhir and Virat dined in his Taj Gardenia hotel room the day they fought in Bangalore in 2013. But sadly, these things never get reported,” the Southpaw’s friend told The Times of India.
“Both admire each other and Gambhir calls Virat ‘Cheeks’, while Virat addresses him as ‘Bhaiya’. Both love PlayStation, and currently are spending a lot of time together in the gym at Indore with Team India trainer Shanker Basu,” he added.
Gambhir himself has gone on to say that he has nothing personal against Virat Kohli. In an interview with NDTV, Gambhir explained that the two were very good friends off the pitch. However, if he was required to be aggressive on the field, he would do so once again and expected Virat to also do the same.
The hatchet has been buried
The incident was one of the ugliest concerning two Indian players. However, it was nothing more than two very competitive players acting in the heat of the moment.
There is no evidence that Gambhir hates either MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli.
Even he does not get along with the former, there is nothing to suggest that his perceived rift extends to the man he once handed his man of the match award to.
In fact, he seems to have buried the hatchet with Kohli at the aforementioned dinner itself. At least considering how they behave with each other on Social media.
Thank you. 😊
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 19, 2017
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