SYDNEY (Reuters) – Comments made by India players KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya that have been widely condemned as sexist were “inappropriate” and not supported by their team mates, captain Virat Kohli said on Friday.
Batsman Rahul and all-rounder Pandya have been heavily criticised in India and on social media for comments made on a television show earlier this week.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have asked the pair to explain the comments and Pandya has apologised. Both, however, could still face sanctions.
“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,” Kohli told reporters on Friday ahead of the first one-dayer against Australia.
“The two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude. It has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right.
“These are purely individual opinions … we definitely, as the Indian cricket team, do not support views like that and that has been communicated.”
Kohli said he was not aware of any sanctions being handed down but the side would adapt if the pair were ruled out of the three-match series.
“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.”
Kohli’s side enter the one-day series on a high, having sealed their first test series victory in Australia earlier this week when the fourth match ended in a draw.
“Definitely not going to dampen anything that we’ve achieved,” he said.
“You have to adjust with the situation. We need to go out there and play cricket.
“All these external factors are not going to derail our motivation or the preparation for the World Cup.”
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)