Another trend that has emerged over the years is that of the IPL turning some of the fiercest rivals and foes into teammates and friends.
Players from different nations including India, who, while representing their respective countries, states, counties etc. have been involved in some of the biggest and ugliest controversial moments on and off the field, have over the years come together and become IPL teammates and friends.
You can call it coincidence or team strategies, but over the years the IPL has successfully brought together some of the biggest names in world cricket, regardless of personal egos and different cultures.
Burying the hatchet and playing for ‘the team’ and excelling is something most of the players in the IPL have embodied.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at how the IPL threw some of the most bitter cricketing foes together and how they rose together for their teams.
Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds
Everyone in the cricketing circuit is well aware of the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ incident that took place during the 2008 Sydney Test. It was something that took the cricket world by storm and will perhaps always be listed as one of the biggest on-field controversies to hit world cricket.
Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh (Reuters Photo)
The two parties involved in one of the ugliest cricket scandals ever — Australia’s Andrew Symonds and India’s Harbhajan Singh had their swords up against one another during and after that episode. Everyone who follows, enjoys and understands cricket knew that the two shared a nasty relationship after that saga and the chances of their reconciliation were next to impossible.
But Mumbai Indians managed to pull off the impossible in 2011, when they brought both Symonds and Harbhajan together under their umbrella in the IPL. Harbhajan, who at that time was already with the franchise (since 2008) was joined by Symonds, who moved from Deccan Chargers (now defunct) to his new home.
Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh (IPL Photo)
It is believed that Sachin Tendulkar played a big role in getting both Harbhajan and Symonds to the talking table and both eventually put their differences behind them and formed a bond while playing for the franchise. Mumbai that year went on to play Qualifier 2, where they lost to that season’s runners-up, tje Royal Challengers Bangalore.
However, 2011 eventually turned out to be the last season for Symonds in the league. Harbhajan, on the other hand, went on to play in the IPL till 2021.
Harbhajan Singh and Ricky Ponting
While Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds were the two key figures of the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ incident of 2008, the tensions between Harbhajan and then Australia skipper Ricky Ponting were also at its peak during that time. The two in fact never really saw eye to eye, ever since Harbhajan first burst onto the international scene. There was a rumour post the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal that Ponting wanted to get Harbhajan banned and was in no mood for negotiations during the scandal.
The on-the-field rivalry between Harbhajan and Ponting is well documented, with Bhajji troubling Ponti ng the batsman on numerous occasions, but the 2008 episode brought things to a boil.
In 2013, it was once again Mumbai Indians, who brought two ‘foes’ together into the same dressing room.
Ricky Ponting and Harbhajan Singh (Image credit: BCCI/IPL)
Pointing, who was 39 at that time, was leading the side and one of his jaw-dropping catches in a match against Delhi Daredevils off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh said it all and put all the talks of his and Harbhajan’s rift to rest. The way Harbhajan ran and grabbed Ponting to hug him after that catch showed that all previous issues between the two had been sorted out.
The duo, in the latter phases of their careers went on to praise and admire each other on a few occasions as well.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow
When it comes to the toughest rivalries in international cricket, nothing can be compared perhaps to the Ashes. With a rich history of cut-throat competition, it is in many ways a bigger prize to win for both Aussies and the English.
Image credit: AFP
Sledgings, constant war of words, banter and fights, apart from of course some very high quality cricket is what fans have witnessed in this fierce rivalry over the years.
So when Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to get Australia’s David Warner and England’s Jonny Bairstow together to play for them, it was quite the coup. The performances the two traditional rivals put on together as an opening pair for SRH, putting aside their personal rivalries, was absolutely stunning.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL
The biggest highlight of this Aussie-English batting duo was recorded in 2019, when they stitched a record shattering 185-run opening partnership against Royal Challengers Bangalore which made the fans go completely berserk.
The duo ended up playing together for three years from 2019 to 2021 at the Sunrisers.
Stand-in SRH captain Bhuvneshar kumar in fact said in 2019 – ”Of course, they are rivals but that’s when they play for their countries. When they play for Sunrisers, they are teammates.”
Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler
It was in 2019, when during a Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals match, R Ashwin ‘mankaded’ (ran out at the non-strikers end, while bowling) Jos Buttler and it became the talk of the town.
Jos Buttler and R Ashwin (BCCI/IPL Photo)
From fans reacting on Twitter, to pundits and legends weighing in on the incident, the entire saga gave birth to a new rivalry – Ashwin vs Buttler. While Buttler wasn’t happy with Ashwin running him out like that, Ashwin felt he had every right to do that, since it was well within the rules of the game.
While the two after the incident continued to defend themselves and their on-field acts, the incident made international headlines.
Cut to 2022, both Buttler and Ashwin are now part of the same team and sharing the same dressing room – at the Rajasthan Royals.
Jos Buttler and R Ashwin (BCCI/IPL Photo)
When Rajasthan Royals bought Ashwin in the auction, it was a meme fest on Twitter and fans were in awe of what the franchise had done, despite the strained relationship between the two players.
The duo played their first match together on Tuesday which Rajasthan comfortably won by 61 runs. It will be interesting to see what these two teammates are like around each other as the season progresses.
Deepak Hooda and Krunal Kandya
In 2021, during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament a fight between Baroda teammates Deepak Hooda and his captain Krunal Kandya came to light and rocked Indian domestic cricket.
Things between the two of them took a turn for the worse after that incident, with Hooda deciding to pull out of the Baroda squad, alleging that Krunal (his captain) abused him in front of his teammates. Krunal, later in an episode of the TOI Sportscast podcast spoke about how what people had heard was only one side of the story, because he didn’t want to wash dirty linen in public and wanted to keep internal team matters private, since that is the right thing to do.
Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda
So in the February 2022 auction when the latest IPL entrant Lucknow Super Giants bought Krunal for INR 8.25 Crores and Deepak for INR 5.75 crore it came as a surprise to many. While the Lucknow franchise would have bought the two keeping in mind their team combination and strategies, the fans realised they now had the opportunity to see how both players would behave with each other, while playing together, especially in the backdrop of their strained past.
During Monday’s LSG vs Gujarat Titans match though it became quite clear that the IPL had once again turned foes into friends. It was in fact a really pleasant sight to see both players burying the hatchet and coming together to strengthen their team.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL
Krunal running to hug Hooda after he took a catch was a fair indication that all now is indeed well between the two. The hug was in fact talked about quite a bit on social media, with fans praising the fact that the two cricketers, who are professionals, had put their personal differences aside to put the interests of their team before all else.
Hug between Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda. https://t.co/m49lTzZYte
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) 1648483965000
krunal applauding hoodaipl already won in my book https://t.co/AVMQRBV3bb
— ✖️ (@_klausxx) 1648479706000
Krunal Pandya gave a pat on Deepak Hooda’s back after he was out scoring a fifty. Great to see this, IPL is simply… https://t.co/EYG5YMGF26
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) 1648481914000
Krunal Pandya loving the Deepak Hooda innings from the dugout. https://t.co/h6lFldubq7
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) 1648480351000
IPL can do everything.!The hug between Krunal Pandya& Deepak Hooda.! https://t.co/B0nXujnY7A
— Spidey! (@Cric_spidey) 1648484077000
Deepak hooda and Krunal Pandya after #Shubmangill wicket 👍#TATAIPL #Krunalpandya #deepakhooda https://t.co/uPSHuZ64qC
— Rohit Kasote (@twr_rohitrk) 1648484259000
Krunal Pandya appreciated Hooda for his saviour inning Beauty of the game 🤣#LSGvsGT https://t.co/vPlqOgn3Xf
— Cric Crazy (@Being_indiawale) 1648481968000
Divided by Baroda 😤United by Lucknow 🥳Our very own Krunal and Hooda ✍️#LSGvsGT https://t.co/kK7Ds5AyUi
— 𝐀𝐯𝐧𝐢 😑 (@Avni_KL_7) 1648484077000
Absolute Scenes, Krunal and Hooda celebrating together #IPL2022 . Nice to see https://t.co/FJIk8pzpQh
— Nav (@imnsamyy) 1648484122000
Krunal & Hooda, No queries now we are friends 😊👬#KrunalPandya #LSGvsGT https://t.co/jrsN2fPfM1
— Abhi Vicky (@1abhi_vicky) 1648525697000
Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda shake hands. Really good to see. https://t.co/7vApCJQspK
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) 1648481817000
BEST HUG OF THE DECADE. Hooda x Krunal 💛#GTvLSG#TataIPL2022#sunilshah https://t.co/uRPwdoZRWw
— Sunil Shah (@SunilShah1111) 1648527219000