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IPL 2024: Kohli hugs ‘rival’ Gambhir en route 83 against KKR; WATCH

Fans were pleasantly shocked as the two hugged each other and smiled on the ground during the Royal Challengers Bengaluru innings.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru batter Virat Kohli speaks with Kolkata Knight Riders mentor Gautam Gambhir during the two teams’ match in Bengaluru in IPL 2024. (Picture: Screengrab from RCB X account/@RCBTweets)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Indian Premier League (IPL) is not just about rivalry between franchises but also between individuals. One such rivalry is between Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s (RCB) Virat Kohli and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who is currently the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

There have been multiple occasions where the two mercurial individuals clashed on the ground, starting from the days when Gambhir was the captain of KKR. Last year, too, an ugly spat was seen between the two when Gambhir was the mentor of Lucknow Super Giants.

However, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru witnessed different scenes on Friday (29) when the home team clashed with Kolkata in a game in IPL 2024 as the two senior cricketing personalities buried their differences and even hugged each other, an act that broke the internet. It was a sea-change in the mood as Gambhir had said even before the game that the RCB is a team he wanted to beat every time and even in his dreams.

Read: Record 168m people watched IPL 2024 opening ceremony, match

A video from the KKR camp ahead of the match also showed Kohli giving an icy cold stare at his KKR opponent and once a colleague in the national team.

Both Kohli and Gambhir hail from Delhi.

But things turned for the better and to the relief of fans and match officials as the duo shared a warm hug while RCB were batting. During the timeout at the end of the 16th over, they were seen sharing friendly gestures and having a short chat and exchanging smiles. Kohli, who scored an unbeaten 83 in the match off just 59 balls to propel his side to 182 for 6 in 20 overs in the heat, was drinking water as he chatted with his teammate. Gambhir walked past him just then and the two hugged each other. Kohli smiled throughout the little chat they had before Gambhir walked back to the KKR dugout.

Read: IPL 2024: Rishabh Pant’s Delhi lose 2nd match in a row vs Parag-powered Rajasthan

Kohli showed that he is taking the challenge of making it to the India squad for the T20 World Cup in June seriously. After a match-winning 77 off 49 balls in the previous match against Punjab Kings, the ace batter batted through the innings against KKR after their captain Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to bowl.

The 35-year-old batter, who skipped India’s five-Test series against England before the IPL, added 65 runs for the second wicket with Cameron Green, 42 with Glenn Maxwell for the third and 31 with Dinesh Karthik for the sixth to give his team a respectable total. Kohli, who completed 12,000 runs in T20s as the first Indian cricketer in the first match against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai, reached his half century in the game in Bengaluru in just 36 balls. He hit four fours and as many sixes in his knock.

RCB, who are yet to win the IPL, have won one and lost one in their first two matches.

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