Gautam Gambhir vs Virat Kohli: Incidents when Indian cricket's two angry men clashed on-field
Indian cricket's governing body BCCI announced squad for the three-match test series against New Zealand, retaining most of the players that toured West Indies.
Virat Kohli will lead a young squad consisting of – Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, M Vijay, Umesh Yadav.
The absence of Gautam Gambhir's name wasn't welcomed by fans considering the left-hander's performances in the Duleep Trophy.
With many blaming Virat Kohli's personal enmity with Gambhir, we take a look at the incidents over the recent years when Indian cricket's two most famous angry men clashed on the cricketing field.
IPL 2013: During an IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, captain Gambhir and counterpart Kohli were engaged in a verbal duel.
The incident took place when Kohli, who had hit Pradeep Sangwan for two sixes, went for a wild slash but was caught on a ball bowled by Lakshmipathy Balaji.
With Gambhir and fellow players celebrating the dismissal, Kohli instead walked towards short extra cover and apparently made a remark which wasn't welcomed by the Kolkata skipper who started walking angrily towards Kohli. Eventually, Rajat Bhatia got in between them and tried to calm Gambhir down.
IPL 2015: RCB defeated KKR by 7 wickets after the clash was reduced to 10-over per side due to heavy rain in M Chinnaswamy stadium.
Kohli, who is not known to hide emotions, was pumped up as Mandeep Singh's heroics – consecutive sixes to Andre Russell in final over - delivered a win for RCB on home soil.
The aftermath of victory saw old foes Kohli and Gambhir engage in an on-field argument though it wasn't as fierce as the 2013 encounter.
IPL 2016 (Bengaluru): Another occasion when Gambhir lost his cool, was when his side Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gambhir apparently kicked a chair during the celebration of KKR's victory over Kohli's RCB, expressing anguish at the ongoing mental battle between the two captains. He was later fined 15% of his match fee for breaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) Code of Conduct.
The same match saw Kohli being fined Rs 24 lakh, while the rest of the team was fined Rs 6 lakh each or 25 percent of their match fee.
IPL 2016 (Kolkata): During the IPL match between KKR and RCB at the Eden Gardens, Gautam Gambhir was seen throwing the ball towards non-striker's end - the direction in which Kohli was running - in a fit of rage.
The unnecessary aggression once again landed the Knight Riders' captain in trouble when the umpire chose to snatch the ball from bowler Andre Russel's hands.
Gambhir was later spotted in a heated conversation with the umpire, probably justifying the reasons behind his action.
IPL 2016 Final: The final of the 2016 Indian Premier League between SunRisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore was won by David Warner led-SRH with Kohli's team ending second best in the tournament.
Soon after the match was concluded Gambhir seemingly took a subtle dig at Virat Kohli with his tweet.
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 29, 2016
Gambhir's remark, "Nice guys do finish first" was widely considered as a jibe at Kohli's aggressive style.
With the experienced left-handed batsman being overlooked for the New Zealand series despite multiple impressive knocks on domestic stage, it is going to get even tougher for the 34-year-old to make his way back into the India dressing room.
Despite his impressive record in the last six months, the selectors together with Test skipper Kohli refrained from including Gambhir in the squad primarily for two reasons.
1. There’s no one to replace
Argument: Although arguably Murli Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan have not been in the best of forms and a chance might have been given to Gambhir who brings in huge experience in the young squad.
2. He doesn’t fit into India’s future plans
Argument: It is difficult to understand how a player with 9 Test hundreds, 54 matches and 4000 runs to his name doesn't deserve one-last stint into an Indian squad to which his contribution has been immense. He might not be an ever-present in the squad in the coming years but his experience will be of value to Indian cricket's next generation.
As a specialist opener, Gambhir is in direct competition with Vijay and Dhawan to partner KL Rahul against the new ball. Rahul has been in the form of his life and is making great strides in international cricket. This makes him an automatic pick in the starting eleven.
Gautam last represented India at the Test level in 2014 against England where he registered 0 and 3 in two innings respectively.
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