What’s the story?
Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has leaped to the defense of Virat Kohli and slammed those who have questioned his priorities. The left-handed opener recently made an unlikely comeback to the Indian Test side and played under his younger teammate in two matches against New Zealand and England.
Speaking to CNN, he said, “That’s absolutely not valid. I feel that someone who’s playing for their country and captaining it would never want to miss a Test match and would definitely want to play for India more than any other tournament. Knowing Virat he would have never done that and these people, look if you want to be in the headline you can say anything you want and it’s just about making a headline or trying to get your name in the press by making such statements.If you don’t know the extent of the injury you should not be talking about it.”
Australian legend and Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge had earlier made a controversial statement regarding the extent of Virat Kohli’s injury. The 42-year-old seemed to doubt the Indian skipper’s commitment when he said, “You would think that your captain would get out there and get amongst the fight and get in there. You’d hope as a sportsman that he’s seriously injured.”
He even went on to single out Kohli saying it would be funny if the RCB captain walked out for his IPL side a week after his injury.
Gambhir and Kohli’s relationship seems to have lasted the test of time. Teammates for Ranji side Delhi, Kohli always admired Gambhir before a supposed fallout in 2012. The left-hander was said to have felt hard done by the team management picking Kohli as vice-captain ahead of him. In the IPLs over the years, there have been some fiery encounters between the duo.
After Gambhir’s return to the Test side, it was clear that the two had buried the hatchet and made up with each other.
What makes this story even more interesting is that Brad Hodge took to Twitter to clarify his comments after the conclusion of the final Test.
My question was not of@imVkohli but other cricketers who have put Ipl before there country. Reason: @IPL is the best tournament in the world— Brad Hodge (@bradhodge007) March 27, 2017
Indian fans will be thrilled to see the more experienced Gambhir stand up for Kohli during such a testing time for the latter. Kohli will surely have an answer to Hodge when the Royal Challengers Bangalore come up against the Gujarat Lions in the IPL.
One wonders what must have been going through Hodge’s mind when he made those unsavoury comments initially. There has been an immense backlash that has caused him to make such a dramatic u-turn on his initial stance.
As coach of the Gujarat Lions, it is possible that the team management stepped in to intervene ahead of the IPL to make things right. For now, this is a double victory for Virat Kohli.