Virat Kohli (left) and David Warner © AFP
Virat Kohli (left) and David Warner © AFP

Finally, the IPL jamboree is over and cricket world takes a deep breath of relief with a two-month tourney coming to an end on Sunday night, at Hyderabad. After 60 matches, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) emerged IPL 9 champion, trumping a resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by a narrow margin. The final in Bengaluru was more than a cricket game between two teams of high quality — two extremely talented cricketers whose indomitable attitude and unique qualities helped them push beyond expectations were at loggerheads too. And at the end of it, two of the fiercest characters in international cricket — Virat Kohli and David Warner — find themselves a lot closer to each other where they were before the start of IPL 9. ALSO READ: IPL 2016, Top 10 knocks – Kohli, Warner and others

It is a well-known fact that overseas cricketers look forward to IPL also because they get time away from the tough international circuit and get a chance to mingle with the best of cricketing talents. IPL provides them to take their foot off the paddle for some time, relax a little and focus their energies in doing well for their teams in a short-format competition.

The Indian cricket team’s tour of Australia 2014-15 provided umpteen instances of how hot-minded cricketers from both the camps were ready to have a go at each other. Kohli, Warner, Rohit Sharma and Steven Smith were all involved in the Test series, and when the limited-overs games arrived, Rohit and Warner continued to engage in war of words. ALSO READ: IPL 2016 – Top 10 bowling spells of the tournament

But IPL 2016 saw the ice breaking between these international stars. Quite often players took to Twitter to have their say on their opponents — no criticism involved — but only to praise their freak achievements on the cricket field. Even though Kohli did not tweet anything particular about his peers’ batting, Warner was more than ferocious in praising the batsmen during IPL.

A few months later Warner will be busy in the Australian camp plotting the downfall of the Kohlis and de Villiers, but during IPL 2016, he remained overawed with the way these two Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsmen went about their task.

And what was pleasing to see was the fact that rather than the customary handshakes, Kohli and Warner embraced each other with warm hugs during the final of IPL 2016. Now, here are two of the fiercest competitors not only acknowledging each other but even going out of their zones to greet, which certainly was a first for them.

Talking a little more about the way Kohli and Warner led their respective teams Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), it can be said that they opened new chapters which look promising. Kohli and Warner travelled the path of leading by example, scoring more than 800 runs — with Kohli getting a record 973 and Warner scoring 848 — and set strong examples for their rivals.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)