Gambhir’s celebration in Bengaluru earlier seemed to have riled up Kohli, leading to bad blood after the RCB-LSG game in Lucknow
LSG’s Afghan bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, too, was fined 50% of his match fee for heated words with Kohli – during which he was also seen grabbing the former Indian skipper’s arm – before the two were separated by RCB’s Glenn Maxwell.
The trigger of the spat between Kohli and Gambhir seemed to be LSG opener Kyle Mayers‘ exchange with Kohli, which was seemingly interrupted by Gambhir pulling Mayers away. Gambhir’s aggressive celebration back in the first leg of this encounter at the Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru after LSG’s one-run win seemed to have riled Kohli up. And this time, it was Kohli who celebrated aggressively following RCB’s 18-run victory defending only 126 runs.
Gambhir had earlier pointed at the Chinnaswamy crowd and gestured it to shut up. Kohli repeated the gesture at the Ekana Stadium crowd in Lucknow.
Following the incident, cryptic messages were put out from the social-media handles of both Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq. RCB went on to release a dressing-room video after the match which shows an animated, bare-bodied Kohli saying: “If you can give it, you got to take it.”
Naveen took to Instagram and posted a story which read: “You get what you deserve. That’s how it should be and that’s how it goes.” Soon, Kohli put out a story quoting Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
This is the second time during this IPL that Kohli has got into a controversy for his post-match behaviour. Earlier, his apparent refusal to shake hands with Delhi Capitals mentor Sourav Ganguly during the customary post-game handshakes created a minor furore on social media.
This time too, social media was immediately abuzz with images of Gambhir and Kohli clashing, with Gambhir seen charging at Kohli and being held back by some LSG players. LSG’s Amit Mishra was seen restraining Kohli, with LSG assistant coach Vijay Dahiya and RCB skipper Faf du Plessis too getting into the act at some stage.
Kohli had apparently earlier pulled up Naveen-ul-Haq for trodding on the pitch with spikes, and even shown his boot to both the bowler and the umpire. As is always the case, a lot of fake news and innuendo on social media immediately started doing the rounds, distorting the incident.
Faf du Plessis defended Kohli, who seemed hyper-charged throughout the game, speaking in the same video posted by RCB: “That’s the best version of Virat, isn’t it? That’s when he’s at his best. It’s awesome to be a part of it. My job is to keep things calm on the field, which I thought we did really well.”