‘My relationship with Dhoni, Kohli…’: Gambhir opens up about rumored rifts

Former Team India opener Gautam Gambhir was recently in news for his heated on-field exchanges with Virat Kohli during IPL 2023. The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) mentor, who always likes to speak his mind, has now opened up about his relationship with former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RVB) skipper Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, the captain of Chennai Super Kings.

Gambhir , the two-time world cup winner, said his rivalry with any player be it Kohli or Dhoni is limited to the field and there’s nothing personal about it, said in an interview with News 18

“My relationship with M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli are the same. If there is an argument between us, it stays only on the field, not off field. There’s nothing personal. They want to win as much as I do,” the legendary India cricketer said.

Kohli and Gambhir had a heated exchange following Bangalore’s win over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the 16th season of the cash-rich IPL last month. And duo was separated by RCB captain Faf du Plessis and his LSG counterpart KL Rahul. In 2013, they had an ugly face-off when the latter was the face of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise in IPL 2013.

It is alleged that the incident originated following in-game sledging involving Kohli and Lucknow’s Naveen-ul-Haq when the latter came to bat during the chase. After Royal Challengers Bangalore’s win in an emotionally-charged contest, the two players had to be separated after a conversation during the handshakes took an ugly turn.

Gambhir, in the interview, said India was not a team-obsessed country but rather a nation obsessed with individuals.

“Our country is not a team-obsessed one but rather an individual-obsessed one. We think of certain individuals to be bigger than the team. In other countries like England, New Zealand and Australia the team is greater than any individual. And the stakeholders of Indian cricket, from broadcasters to media, have unfortunately been reduced to PR agencies. They’ll show just 3 people the whole day. If you have made a 50 and i have also made a 50, if you keep showing one person, everyone will think that he is the only star. The other person will be termed underrated,” Gambhir said.

“Who makes a player underrated? The broadcasters do, the experts do and social media does. If you talk about just one player’s performance, the other will be automatically underrated. Both have grafted equally but if one’s performance does not get credited, he/she will always remain underrated. This obsession with individuals is the reason why India have not won any major ICC trophy for a long time,” Gambhir added.

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Updated: 12 Jun 2023, 08:54 PM IST

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