In its glorious 14 years, Indian Premier League (IPL) has offered some nail-biting matches, some memorable moments, and historic performances. However, the 15 years of IPL has also witnessed some forgettable, or ugly or controversial moments, one of them being the spat between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli during the 2013 edition of the tournament. And on Friday, the former Kolkata Knight Riders captain opened up on the verbal spat.
Speaking to Jatin Sapru on his YouTube show ‘Over and Out’, Gambhir explained that sometimes personal relationships are forgotten in such situations as you are leading a side and that he has no regret about whatever was said during that moment.
“That’s OK, I am absolutely fine with it and I expect him to be like that. I am like that. I like that contest, I like people who are competitive. MS Dhoni is a competitor in his own way, Virat is a competitor in his own way. Sometimes when you are leading the side, you have to do it even if you don’t want to do it because you want your team to play the way you want. As a leader, sometimes you are not thinking about personal relationships with the other guy [but] just because you are leading a team, you have to do it,” he said.
Gambhir then went on to praise the former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain for the impressive transformation he has shown both as an athlete and as a person.
“That’s why there was nothing personal [then] and there never will be personal against Virat Kohli. And I say it again and again that what he’s achieved, I am absolutely not surprised. That’s the kind of player he was when we saw him early but what he’s transformed into, I think from a fitness point of view and the way he’s worked on his skills is tremendous.”
After leading the franchise for seven seasons, Kohli had relinqushed the leadership role at the end of IPL 2021. While he remains at the franchise after he was retained before the mega auction, RCB named Faf du Plessis as their new captain. They will play their IPL 2022 campaign opener against Punjab Kings on 27 March.