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Virat Kohli - Hardik Pandya

Team doesn't support comments by Pandya, Rahul, says Kohli

India news

Virat Kohli, the India captain, sought to distance the team from "inappropriate" comments made by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul on an Indian TV show, which have come in for criticism.

The comments made by the duo, and particularly from Pandya, were criticised as being sexist and racist, and forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to issue show-cause notices to the players. On the eve of the first ODI against Australia on Saturday, 12 January, Kohli stressed that they in no way reflected the wider culture in the dressing room.

"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," said the Indian captain. "The two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what's happened.

"As the Indian cricket team, we 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.

"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. These are purely individual opinions, and something, as I said, which is inappropriate."

Kohli acknowledged that India would have to rethink their plans if the punitive action taken against the duo involves a suspension, but likened it to being prepared to counter other uncontrollable factors like injuries.

"From the combination and team balance point of view, yes, you'll have to think about the combination you'll need now," Kohli said.

"If someone has a niggle, or an injury. You're always prepared as a team for those scenarios, and I don't think we will have too much of trouble if we have to change our combinations. We are pretty comfortable as a side and any combination that we go in with."

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