India’s Gambhir disapproves of amiable interaction among players

India´s Virat Kohli (2L) talks with Pakistan´s players at the end of the Asia Cup 2023 one-day international (ODI) cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on September 2, 2023 — AFP

Former Indian wicket-keeper batsman Gautam Gambhir has censured his side for lacking aggression and indulging in friendly interactions with Pakistani players.

Gambhir, known for his on-field aggression during his career, has categorically disapproved of friendly interactions between Indian and Pakistani players during their recent clash in Asia Cup 2023 which was washed away due to rain a day earlier — Saturday.

The former Indian cricketer is of the view that the players must show aggression as they are representing their countries. “You must leave the friendship outside the boundary ropes. You can be as friendly as you want after those six or seven hours of cricket,” Gambhir said.

Expressing his views on the light-hearted moments shared between Pakistani and Indian players, Gambhir said: “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.”

The former wicket-keeper batsman is of the view that players can sledge as long as it doesn’t get personal or involve someone’s family.

“Banter is fine. In games against Australia and Pakistan, there used to be banter,” he added.

It is to be noted that the much anticipated Pak-India clash in Asia Cup 2023 was washed away due to rain with one point awarded to each side.

The rain-affected match saw India setting up a target of 267 runs against Pakistan as Pakistani pacers limited the Indian batting powerhouse and took all ten wickets.

Shaheen Shah Afridi bagged four key wickets including that of Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, meanwhile, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah took three wickets each.

Pakistan has already qualified for the Super 4 stage of the tournament.

Both teams will meet once again on September 10 in the Super Four stage should India win their final group game against Nepal on September 4.

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