India’s head coach Ravi Shastri said cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul needed “the rap on their knuckles”, referring to the duo’s controversial comments on the television interview show Koffee with Karan earlier in the year, reported PTI.

Pandya and Rahul were in the eye of a massive storm following their comments on the chat show that resulted in suspension and time away from the team during the tour of Australia and New Zealand.

“Pandya and Rahul needed the rap on their knuckles. They would have learnt a lot from what happened, which is good,” Shastri is quoted as saying to news channel Mirror Now.

“You are bound to make mistakes and you are bound to be punished at times but that’s not the end of the world. Such experiences just help players to come back stronger, harder and wiser,” he said.

Also read: Indian cricket’s mishandling of the Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul controversy has clouded the real issue

The television show was aired on 6 January. In the show, Pandya and Rahul talked about a wide range of topics — relationships, their approach when talking to women, sexual intercourse when on tours among others.

Shastri was asked about the differences in opinion between the BCCI and the team over partners of cricketers travelling with them on long overseas tours.

“The players know if it is going to affect their performances they will take the decision accordingly. When you see the amount of time they spend away from home, you got to be practical there.

“But yes, if it is big event like a world cup or a big tournament where you need the boys to be absolutely focused 24x7 then it’s different but otherwise - this day and age you got to be practical and be a little open minded,” Shastri added.