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Remember Gautam Gambhir's spats with Virat Kohli?

India Today logo India Today 27-11-2016

Delhi boys Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli are a treat to watch on the field. But when it comes to facing each other, the two have had a history of on-field fights and abuses.

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Not only have they shared outstanding ODI partnerships that won key matches for India, the two were also teammates for Delhi, North Zone and ONGC. The former top-ranked Test batsman is known to make strong statements when it comes to his colleagues - be it his resentment on Dhoni's biopic or hidden digs on social media.

It is no secret that Gambhir and Kohli, captain of India's Test team don't share an outstanding relationship. The two are similar in their temperament and rather hot-headed on the field. Their passion for the game is beyond doubt and they wear their hearts on the sleeves and want to win games at any cost.

Not surprisingly then, when the two squared off against each other in the Indian Premier League, sparks flew. Kohli, captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gambhir, who has twice led Kolkata Knight Riders to the title, had to be seprated by KKR's players after one of their arguments got particularly ugly.

The two recently played together in the same team for the first time since 2014 but Gambhir would have wished that he had avoided those confrontations back in the day. But little would he have known that Kohli would one day be captain of the Test team!

Here are a few spats that the two aggressive cricketers from Delhi have been involved in:

1. KOHLI-GAMBHIR ALMOST COME TO BLOWS

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Their most aggressive public fight has to be the IPL 2013 match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Trying to hit his third six off Pradeep Sangwan, Kohli was dismissed in the 10th over. While KKR players ran into the cover region to celebrate, Kohli allegedly said something that got Gambhir angry, who then walked angrily towards his then junior teammate, shouting. The two engaged in a verbal dispute, only to be stopped by KKR teammate Rajat Bhatia, another player from Delhi.

2. REPEAT PERFORMANCE TWO YEARS LATER

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The match between KKR and RCB in May, 2015 included drama, rain and along with it a dejavu of 2013 fight.

While RCB players celebrated their win after defeating KKR by 7 wickets, Kohli and Gambhir seemed to have been engaged in a fight on the field. Although it was nowhere as bad as the 2013 fight, reports surfaced of an argument brewing up between the two Delhi lads.

3. GAMBHIR TAKES DIGS AT KOHLI

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When Sunrisers Hyderabad won IPL 2016 final against RCB, Gambhir tweeted with a hidden dig at Kohli, which was not taken very well by the latter's fans.

He wrote, "Congratulations SunRisers on winning IPL. Nice guys DO finish first. Well done. Bowler win u cricket matches be it any format @BCCI"

4. TEST SNUB HURTS GAMBHIR

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After a decent performance in the Duleep Trophy with four half-centuries, it was expected from Coach Anil Kumble and Captain Virat Kohli to include Gambhir in the Test series against New Zealand.

According to reports, Kohli decided to pick the under-performing Shikhar Dhawan over Gambhir, who had then posted a short poem on Twitter with a "I'm disappointed but not defeated, I'm cornered but not a coward. Grit my partner, courage my pride for, I must fight, I must fight."

All said and done, Gambhir should watch his words as well as actions in front of Kohli, if he wants to play cricket for a few more years. Otherwise he will see the same fate as Ashish Nehra, who had abused his then junior Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the 2005 ODI against Pakistan for not taking a catch. Nehra had been missing from international cricket for almost five years.

One also wonders whether the dressing-room will be tense given the acrimonious relationship between Gambhir and Kohli. But the Indian Test captain is far more matured now and it wouldn't be a surprise if he is the one to extend an olive branch to his senior Delhi state-mate.

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