Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli
Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli {PC: X/AP]

Last Update on: September 3rd, 2023 at 09:37 am

Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has slammed the Indian team for being too friendly on the field with players of the opposition team. His comments came after the India vs Pakistan game in the ongoing game was washed out after the first innings on Saturday (September 2).

On the eve of the game, Virat Kohli was seen hugging several Pakistan players and sharing a laugh with them. He hugged Haris Rauf on the field before going to the pavilion to meet the likes of Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi. India skipper Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Siraj were also spotted having conversation with the opposition players.

Even during the match, an unexpected level of camaraderie was seen among the players. Players from both the teams were seen interacting with each other and laughing when they were waiting for the rain to stop after the conclusion of the first innings.

Gautam Gambhir slams Team India:

While many are praising the India and Pakistan players for sharing the warm moments with each other, Gautam Gambhir was not impressed at all. Known for his aggressive nature during his playing career, the World Cup-winning player expressed his disappointment and said that franchise cricket is one of the reasons why cricket games do not have too much aggression nowadays.

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“When you play on the field for your national team, you must leave the friendship outside the boundary ropes. Game face hona zaroori hai. Dosti bahaar rehni chahiye. There has to be an aggression in the eyes of both sets of players.

“You can be as friendly as you want after those six or seven hours of cricket. Those hours are very important, because you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing a nation of over a billion,” Gambhir said in the mid-innings show on Star Sports.

“These days you see players of rival teams patting each other on the back and exchanging fist bumps during a match. You would never see that a few years ago. Aap friendly match hi khel rahe ho,” he added.

Gautam Gambhir made the comments when he was asked about his fiery altercation with ex-Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal during the 2010 Asia Cup match between the arch-rivals. MS Dhoni had to get involved to bring the situation under control at that time.

“We’re very good friends. In fact, I gave him a bat and he gave me a bat too. I played one whole season with a bat Kamran had given me. We spoke for an hour recently,” Gambhir added.

“(You can) Sledge, but don’t get personal. You have to stay within your limits. Don’t involve someone’s family member or get too personal. Banter is fine. In games against Australia and Pakistan, there used to be banter,” he said.

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This is not the first time that India stars have faced the heat for being too friendly with Pakistan players on the field. After India’s loss in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were seen laughing with Pakistani players during the post-match presentation ceremony and faced severe criticism.