The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli has explained his views over the major controversy that has erupted after the young Indian cricketers, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul put out some nasty comments on a popular TV talk show – Koffee With Karan. The Indian captain slammed Pandya and Rahul for the sexist and misogynistic comments they made during the talk show.
During his pre-match press conference ahead of the first ODI against Australia in Sydney, Kohli clarified that controversial comments made by Pandya and Rahul which has left them facing a suspension, are not acceptable and the personal opinions are not the view of the India team. The Indian skipper said, “We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don’t align with those views, those were individual opinions.”
Virat Kohli on KL Rahul & Hardik Pandya, in Australia: We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don't align with those views, those were individual opinions. We are still waiting for a decision to be made. pic.twitter.com/ECSnmyOegC
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2019
Pandya and Rahul where the former’s comments came in for widespread criticism and raised concerns over the team culture. The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) issued the players a show cause notice to which Pandya responded with an apology to the board.
Talking about it further, Virat said, “From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don’t support and the two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what’s happened. Definitely, it has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right.”
The Indian team management will have to wait on the decision on Pandya and Rahul before BCCI arriving at a conclusion on their final playing XI for the first match of the three-ODI series against Australia.
Describing the same, Virat said, “We are still waiting for a decision to be made but from the Indian cricket team point of view, this changes nothing in terms of our beliefs in the change room. It does nothing to the spirit that we’ve been able to create within the change room and these are purely individual opinions and something as I said which is inappropriate.”
Kohli is well aware of the fact that result of this controversy might force the team management to rethink their plans, but was confident that with Ravindra Jadeja in the squad, they had the options to cover for Pandya even though Jadeja is a spin-bowling allrounder.
The Indian skipper acknowledged, “From the combination and team balance point of view, yes, you’ll have to think about the combination you’ll need now. You don’t have control over these things so you have to address it the way it unfolds. That’s how we are looking at it, the combinations will have to be looked at when the decision comes out and from there on we’ll see what needs to be done about the whole situation.”