The 2013 Indian Premier League encounter between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore garnered limelight for reasons other than cricket. During the match, two of India’s big international names – RCB captain Virat Kohli and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir – indulged in a verbal sledging episode on the field at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, which caught a lot of media attention. While RCB went on to pull off an easy win in the match, the focus remained on the spat between the two players after the match.
Seven years later, former KKR cricketer Rajat Bhatia, who was part of the team at the time, recalled the incident and said words were exchanged in the heat of the moment, but the issue was not taken outside the field.
“That is something which happened when two aggressive captains played and they always want to give their best and win for their respective teams. Even if they had any kind of collision in that match, it was just a part of the game,” Bhatia told Asianet Newsable.
“Later, I have never seen them (Gambhir and Kohli) fighting. In the heat of the moment, so many things happen. But, it shouldn’t be happening for the worse. And on that day, it was not,” he further added.
Speaking about Kohli, Bhati said that the India captain’s hunger for runs makes him the best batsmen in the world at the moment. “The best part about Virat Kohli is he is always hungry to score runs. And, that hunger never looked to end. That is why he is the best batsman at the moment. He knew that he has to perform and never stop,” the former Delhi cricketer said.
“I think this is one of the things every player should learn from Virat Kohli. Every player who plays for the country should remember that he should keep performing. That is what Kohli is doing at the moment,” he further added.