The actual reason behind Kohli and Gambhir's boiling fight after LSG vs RCB tie | Crickit
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The actual reason behind Kohli and Gambhir's boiling fight after LSG vs RCB IPL match: Timeline of bitter rivalry

May 02, 2023 04:28 PM IST

What exactly was the reason behind Kohli and Gambhir's face-off after the LSG and RCB match at Lucknow? To find the answer, one has to dig deeper.

It was not a pleasant sight to see India's two World Cup-winning team members - Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir - nearly coming to blows after an IPL 2023 match. It not only took the sheen away from a low-scoring match in an otherwise record-high-scoring tournament but also painted a grim picture of the two, the one that fans are not exactly unaware of. What exactly was the reason behind Kohli and Gambhir's face-off after the Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore match at Lucknow? To find the answer, one has to dig deeper and travel way beyond the last encounter between the same two teams on April 10.

Gautam Gambhir took Kyle Mayers away when Virat Kohli was talking to him
Gautam Gambhir took Kyle Mayers away when Virat Kohli was talking to him

Yes, the multiple feuds that Kohli was involved in with Naveen ul-Haq, Amit Mishra and Gambhir on Monday were because of the LSG mentor's aggressive celebrations and gestures in their previous encounter in Bengaluru. It was revenge personified by Kohli as he himself, in a video posted by RCB after their 18-run win against LSG, said, "If you can give it, you gotta take it, otherwise don't give it."

The seeds of the Gambhir-Kohli feud were, however, sown much earlier. One has to time travel back to the 2013 IPL when Gambhir was the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders and Kohli was the leader of RCB. In the RCB vs KKR match at Chinnaswamy. After Kohli got out, Gambhir appeared to have said something to Kohli which did not go down well with Virat. He turned back and the duo came face-to-face for the first time on the cricket field. They had to be separated by Rajat Bhatia, a former KKR player.

It was hard to believe that the Kohli-Gambhir relationship which started with the latter giving his Player of the Match award to the former for his maiden international century in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Kolkata, would take such a turn.

Also Read | Kohli's spat with Naveen spills into social media after pair cop fines from BCCI

That Gambhir and Kohli did not get along well was evident after the 2013 IPL. Three years later, in another IPL match between RCB and KKR, Gambhir and Kohli had another heated exchange when the left-hander threw the ball towards the non-striker's (Kohli's) end when there was no chance of getting a run-out.

Another interesting facet one has to take into consideration in between their IPL feud was a series of events taking place in the Indian Test side. With Gambhir already out of contention from the white-ball squads thanks to stunning performances at the top of the order by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, his only hope was red-ball cricket. But when Kohli took over from MS Dhoni as the Test captain in December-January of the 2014-15 Australia tour, he overlooked Gambhir even from the Test set-up. Of course, the left-hander's dipping form was also a major reason behind that, but Kohli's decision to move on from Gambhir sealed the deal. Gambhir did make a comeback to the Test side under Kohli's captaincy in the home series against New Zealand and England in 2016 but was dropped after just two Tests. He never played for India since then.

Although after his retirement, Gambhir in an interview with Gaurav Kapoor, clarified that he has nothing against Kohli, but his celebrations after LSG's win against IPL earlier in the tournament narrated a different story. Kohli, who has rarely gone public with his opinion about Gambhir, is not the one to back away. He came out in full fury against LSG which resulted in heated arguments with Naveen-ul-Haq and then later on with Gambhir.

Both were on Tuesday fined 100 per cent of their match fees for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct.

The brief interaction with Kohli with LSG opener Kyle Mayers seemed to have triggered the altercation after the match.

While the players were shaking hands after the match, LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq and Kohli were seen exchanging words and RCB's Glenn Mexwell separated them.

This was followed by Gambhir pulling away Mayers from a chat with Kohli.

Just after that, Gambhir was seen charging towards Kohli even as LSG players, including the injured captain KL Rahul, restraining him. But eventually, Kohli and Gambhir were involved in a heated argument with players from both sides surrounding them. Gambhir looked the more animated of the two and was repeatedly held back from charging towards Kohli by the LSG players and support staff. This was after the two had shaken hands.

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