Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni have been involved in spats in Indian cricket team. (Image credit: Twitter)
The fall-out of India’s unceremonious exit from the 2018 Women’s World T20 has taken an ugly turn, with Mithali Raj’s manager lashing out at Harmanpreet Kaur and calling her a "manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain". Mithali’s manager Annisha Gupta said everybody could see the kind of favouritism that was being shown to certain members of the team. A lot of eyebrows were raised when Mithali, the leading run-getter in Twenty20 Internationals and the most consistent batter in this tournament, was dropped as India suffered a batting collapse to be eliminated from the competition. The Harmanpreet-Mithali ‘spat’ is nothing new to Indian cricket. Here is a list of other famous spats between players.
1.) Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar 1984
The first major scandal to plague Indian cricket involved the two icons of that time. Kapil Dev, who led India to World Cup glory in 1983 and Sunil Gavaskar, one of the best players of all time, had a major fall-out during England’s tour of India in 1984. In the Delhi Test, Kapil Dev played a poor shot and this resulted in India suffering a major collapse to lose the game. Reports emerged that Kapil would be dropped and in the next Test at Eden Gardens, India’s best all-rounder was not picked. Kapil accused Gavaskar for his omission which the star batsman denied. At the Eden Gardens, the crowd chanted, "No Kapil, No Test" and pelted Gavaskar with rotten vegetables and fruits. Gavaskar vowed never to play in the Eden Gardens.
2.) Mohammad Azharuddin and Navjot Singh Sidhu 1996
During India’s tour to England in 1996, India had lost the ODI series 0-2 and was preparing to play the Test matches. After a warm-up game, there were reports of differences between Navjot Singh Sidhu and skipper Mohammad Azharuddin. The differences grew so much that Sidhu walked out midway through the tour. Years later, in his autobiography, "I was There - Memoirs of a Cricket Administrator", former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele said Sidhu could not stomach the constant bad mouthing of Azharuddin and abandoned the tour in a huff.
3.) Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid 2007
The Greg Chappell era in Indian cricket is considered to be the most poisonous period of Indian cricket. The confrontation with then-skipper Sourav Ganguly led to plenty of distractions for Indian cricket. The Ganguly-Chappell spat also resulted in a tense period when the relationship between Ganguly and Rahul Dravid touched rock bottom. In an interview to a news channel, Ganguly said, “When I came back to the team, I had spoken to Dravid about that much later and told him that these were the things going on. He said he knew it all but 'couldn't control Greg." In response, Dravid said, “He can't put words in my mouth as I have never had any such conversation with him.” The Chappell era will be best remembered as the period when the Indian dressing room was fractured.
4.) Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh 2008
The first edition of the IPL in 2008 saw ‘Slapgate’ dominate the headlines. In the game between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, Harbhajan Singh allegedly slapped Sreesanth after the end of the match. The incident came to light as Sreesanth was caught by TV cameras crying on the field. Harbhajan was captain of the side and had lost his third game on the trot. The IPL disciplinary committee banned Harbhajan for the remainder of the tournament and the BCCI, in a separate incident, banned him for five ODIs for breaching the Code of Conduct. Sreesanth had downplayed the incident at that time. Recently, in one episode in the 2018 season of the reality TV show Bigg Boss, Sreesanth said he cried because he felt helpess.
5.) MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag 2012
India suffered a 4-0 whitewash in Australia and was under the pump in the ODI tri-series. Following a big defeat against Australia, skipper MS Dhoni remarked three senior players – Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir – were not being picked together because they are ‘slow fielders’ and could cost the side at least 20 runs. Sehwag, in response, took a great catch in the game against Sri Lanka and when pressed by journalists as to what was his view of slow fielding, Sehwag remarked, “Did you see my catch?”
Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja were spotted arguing in a game against West Indies in Port of Spain in 2013. The differences came about when Raina had not taken the catch which caused Jadeja much anger. After Raina took the catch, Jadeja marched to him and confronted Raina, with Virat Kohli cooling the situation down.
Gautam Gambhir and Kohli were involved in two spats in the IPL in 2013. After Royal Challengers Bangalore won against Kolkata Knight Riders, Kohli was pumped up in his celebration and there was an ugly showdown between Kohli and Gambhir following the end of the match. In 2015, there was another instance when the two collided, this time Kolkata Knight Riders won against Kohli’s side.