India cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul recently appeared on talk show Koffee With Karan in an episode that was first aired on Sunday.
While the two cricketers received flak on social media for some of the things they said about their off-field activities, which most of the episode was based on, there was also a bit of cricket talk on the show. A bit.
Here is what the two cricketers said about the sport they play and their professional careers:
Rahul’s first century for India
Rahul: We were playing in Miami and I didn’t think I was going to play the next day. They didn’t inform me and I was like, ‘Hell, I am in Miami. I’m going to go and party. I am anyway not playing. I don’t need to be fresh [in the morning].’
We were just basically going to go for dinner and the place turned into a party place after 12 [midnight]. I didn’t feel like going back home, so I stayed. I went back at 5 [am]. Next day, at 9 o’clock, I go to the game and they say, ‘You’re playing,’ and I was like, ‘Huh? Me? Are you serious.’
I scored a century. I’m not proud of that, though. I’m proud I got a hundred but not what I did before that.”
Dealing with pressure
Rahul: We’ve been in the team for 2-3 years now and realised the team looks up to us. Earlier, we were youngsters, so they would give us a free hand and say, ‘Go enjoy yourself and do what you want.’ But now we can’t [do that]. We’ve grown up.
Hardik: I don’t get pressure [of selection].
Rahul: In his position, there is no competition.
Hardik: It’s not about that. I always feel – why should you take pressure which is not necessary? This won’t help me in anything. If I take pressure about being there in the team, it won’t help me in my game. I focus on the thing I can control. All these things don’t matter. If I play well, I won’t go anywhere [out of the team]. If I don’t play well, whether I’m taking pressure or not, I’m going to be out [of the team].
Rahul: The pressure is about things you can’t control, like selection. Things that I can control, I’m very happy. I like that pressure – my performance, my discipline, how I carry myself. That is in my control, so I don’t feel any pressure with that. I enjoy that pressure. I like the responsibility.
Rahul: We’ve really stayed away from it. It’s just me and him hanging out all the time and they are talking, gossiping, but we don’t really put ourselves in the team politics.
Hardik: We don’t talk about cricket, that’s the good thing. [We talk about] everything else.
Rahul: Once we’re off the cricket field, it’s off cricket. It keeps you sane sometimes.
Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni – the better captain?
Rahul: Why are you doing this to us? We’ve just come into the team. Umm...in terms of achievement, MS Dhoni.
Hardik: MS bhai, because I made my debut [under him] and it was fantastic.
Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli – the better batsman?
Rahul: I’ll say Virat.