Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has been a strong critic of Virat Kohli. He had recently launched a volley of attacks on Kohli once again for the latter's reaction to the controversial DRS decision during the recently concluded third Test against South Africa at Cape Town which India lost.
The former Indian opening batter said that Kohli's reaction was 'exaggerated' and 'really immature'. Indian players were visibly irked after the controversial DRS call helped Proteas skipper Dean Elgar get his LBW decision overturned.
The controversial call had evoked varied reactions from skipper Kohli, KL Rahul and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Kohli walked towards the stump microphone and said, "Focus on your team as well and not just the opposition, trying to catch people all the time."
Responding to Kohli's act of desperation, Gambhir said, "This is really bad. Kohli's act is really immature. This is not what you expect from an international and Indian captain as technology is not in your hands."
"Kohli's reaction was an exaggerated one and you can't be a role model in this manner. No budding cricketers would want to see this kind of a reaction, especially from the Indian captain," he added.
Apart from being a glorious batsman, Gambhir has time and again triggered some massive controversies, and one of those was his (in)famous fight with Kohli during the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) season VI. Since then, the southpaw has left no stones unturned in mocking Kohli as a player and captain. He questioned Kohli’s prowess as a batsman, underrated his leadership skills and even touted contemporaries like Smith, Joe Root better than him.
Reason Behind Spat
Both Gambhir and Kohli hail from Delhi and played first-class cricket together. During the initial days, Kohli was the apple of Gambhir's eyes and he mentored Kohli under his tenure as Indian vice-captain.
As per sources, Gambhir even asked Kohli to open a few innings alongside him. He once rejected his man of the match award and handed it over to Kohli who also smashed his maiden ODI hundred in the match. But the relationship between the two became sour when India lost miserably to Australia in 2012. Gambhir said some outspoken words against MS Dhoni that led to disagreement on different topics.
A few months later, Gambhir was removed from vice-captaincy and Kohli was appointed as new vice-captain. Gambhir couldn’t digest the fact and adding salt to the injury he was dropped from the Indian ODI and Test Teams in 2013.
Different sections of media showcased Dhoni for using his powers to remove Gambhir from the squad. Some believed Kohli chosen as deputy skipper over Gambhir wounded the left-handed batsman. Everyone knew that Gambhir had a better cricket brain than Kohli those days and he even proved his mettle by winning the IPL title for KKR in 2012.
Questions were again raised of handing over the vice-captaincy to Gambhir. In 2013, Virat used abusive language against KKR bowlers during the match, which left Gambhir fuming and he got involved in a verbal spat with Kohli. The spat cemented rivalry between both of them forever. After Dhoni's retirement from Test cricket, Kohli continued the legacy of giving chances to youngsters completely sidelining veteran Gambhir, who was scoring tons of runs in the domestic circuit then.
Although the cricketer turned politician has cleared that he has no personal issues with Kohli, yet it seems the Delhi lad is still upset with Kohli's attitude and arrogance on and off the field.