Indian captain Virat Kohli has distanced his team from the controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul’s comments on the talk show Koffee With Karan, saying the side does not endorse the views of the two players concerned.
“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,” Kohli said at the Sydney Cricket Ground ahead of the opening ODI against Australia. “Definitely it has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right.
“We, as the Indian cricket, team do not support views like that and that has been communicated. I can definitely say that as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers we definitely don’t align with those views and those are purely individual views.”
The Indian captain was speaking ahead of the first ODI between India and Australia, to be held in Sydney on Saturday.
Pandya and Rahul are both part of the Indian squad for the ODI series and the skipper said he was waiting for a decision from the BCCI when asked about the duo’s possible selection in the playing XI.
“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.”
While Rahul has not been a regular in the 50-over set up, Pandya has featured when fit. The Baroda all-rounder is making his comeback to the ODI squad after his injury in the Asia Cup in August last year.
“From the combination and team balance point of view, yes, you’ll have to think about the combination you’ll need now,” Kohli said. “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.”
The two Indian cricketers involved in the controversy are facing potential suspension from BCCI while the episode itself has been taken down by the streaming website Hotstar.
Pandya and Rahul were slammed on social for their comments on women during the interview, which were regard sexist and misogynist. Pandya had later issued an apology, saying he got carried with the nature of the show.
(This story will be updated with more details as they emerge)