Cricket is a gentleman’s game and it continues to be so despite a spate of few incidents of sledging here and there. The animosity between cricketing nations seems to have lessened thanks to franchise cricket. The IPL has played a major role in reducing tensions among players. It has acted as a university of bonhomie where erstwhile rivals too have co-existed peacefully.
We at StumpsandBails bring to you 6 Indian cricketers who are best friends with their rivals:
#1 Kieron Pollard-Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya considers Kieron Pollard as the best finisher in the business. Pandya gives an impression that he hails from the Caribbean too. His accent, his personality all have that Jamaican flavour associated with him. Pollard has handheld Pandya on many occasions and has stood up for him like an elder brother. Theirs is a bond for the ages!
#2 Chris Gayle-Virat Kohli
The Kohli-Chris Gayle bond is similar in many ways to the Kohli-Villiers bond. The big-hitting pair joined forces in IPL 2011 and they have been an inseparable force since then. Kohli looks up to Gayle as his big brother and enjoys his company. Even though Gayle has parted ways with RCB, the pair continue to enjoy a beautiful friendship that lasts beyond the game of the franchise and international cricket.
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#3 T. Natarajan-David Warner
David Warner has been an inspirational captain for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He led them to a historic championship win in 2016. The fans of the franchise look up to Warner as an inspiration. He has been a tremendous support to players who have been part of the SRH family. T. Natarajan is no exception.
Warner has been vocal about his support for the inclusion of Natarajan in the Indian team. He wished him well on his limited-overs debut even though he (Warner) himself was injured and couldn’t participate in the game. Natarajan has immensely benefited from Warner’s presence and their friendship is bound to grow more with each passing year.
#4 Virat Kohli-AB de Villiers
If there is ever a friendship that has defined the IPL then it is the bond between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Kohli has been with Royal Challengers Bangalore since the first season of IPL in 2008 while Villiers joined the RCB franchise in 2011. The two immediately struck a friendship that has lasted well beyond the game. AB de Villiers even conceded that he is scared of asking anything to Kohli as he will do his best to provide him that.
#5 Jasprit Bumrah-Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga is widely renowned for his ability to deliver yorkers at will. The world felt that there can’t be any other bowler who could send down yorkers with such accuracy. But then entered a certain Jasprit Bumrah who debuted with Mumbai Indians in 2013. Bumrah has grown beautifully under the tutelage of Malinga. The duo are like brothers who create magic on the field together. The IPL has been richer owing to their bond.
#6 Mahendra Singh Dhoni-Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo was acquired by the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2011 and the rest is history. Bravo has flourished under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The pair has blind trust in each other. Dhoni trusts Bravo’s instincts while Bravo has immense faith in Dhoni’s leadership. Bravo has even dedicated a song to MS Dhoni on his birthday.