Gautam Gambhir, throughout his cricketing career, had been known for being a straightforward customer. The left-handed batsman rarely shied away from confrontation on the field – often getting into verbal exchanges with players from the opposition teams. Gambhir got into a verbal altercation with Shahid Afridi during an ODI match against Pakistan in Kanpur in 2007. He also found himself in trouble after allegedly elbowing Australia cricketer Shane Watson during a Test match in Delhi in 2008. He also got into a heated exchange with Virat Kohli during an encounter between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders at IPL 2013.
In a recent episode of Star Sports’ chat’ show Cricket Connected, Gambhir was asked to talk about the sledging episode he enjoyed the most. “Who did you enjoy sledging the most?” the host of the show asked.
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In his reply, the former India batsman went on to talk about his exchange with former Australia captain Ricky Ponting during the first Test match between the two teams in 2008.
“Ricky Ponting, maybe. That was in 2008 when Anil Kumble was the captain. In the series when I got my double hundred. In the first Test match, I think which was in Bengaluru, he said something when I was batting,” the 38-year-old recalled.
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“He was at silly point, and he said ‘you haven’t set the world on fire’. I said ‘Neither have you in India. To be honest, you have been a bunny’. His record says that as well, he’s been a bunny in India,” Gambhir, who is a currently a BJP MP, further said.
Ponting’s Test record shows that he has played 14 Tests in India in which he has scored 662 runs at an average of 26.48 with just one hundred. His record in the ODIs is slightly better, as he has played 46 ODIs in the country in which he has scored 1,736 runs at an average of 39.45 with 5 centuries.