Captain Virat Kohli on Friday said the Indian team doesn’t stand by Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul for making “inappropriate” comments on women during a TV show but insisted that the controversy won’t affect the dressing room morale. Kohli said that the availability of both Pandya and Rahul for the ODI series against Australia would depend on any action that the BCCI might take on Friday.
“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. We definitely as the Indian cricket team do not support views like that and that has been communicated (to the two players),” said Kohli on the eve of the ODI series opener.
“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 two concerned players (have) 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. We are still waiting for a decision to be made,” he said.
When asked if this had an impact on the dressing room after a first-ever Test series’ win in Australia, and if it causes a distraction as the Men in Blue start their preparation towards the 2019 World Cup, Kohli said, “Whatever has happened is unfortunate but there are certain things that are out of your control. “You just need to sit back and wait and watch them unfold. From the combination and team balance point of view, yes when something like that happens you will have to think of what is the combination you need to go in with now.”
The Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai on Thursday recommended a two-ODI ban on Pandya and Rahul but fellow COA member Diana Edulji referred the matter to the BCCI’s legal cell. Kohli said the team remains in high spirits following the unprecedented success in the recently concluded Test series.
“You don’t have control over these things so you have to adjust with the situation and address it the way it comes to you and the way it unfolds. That’s how we’re looking at it. The combinations will have to be thought about once the decision comes out (from the BCCI) and from there on, we will see what needs to be done about the whole situation. We all are waiting just like everyone to understand what the decision will be.
“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 which as I said is inappropriate,” Kohli added.