Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli leaves the field as the play breaks for lunch during the fourth day of the third cricket test match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Mount Maunganui: India captain Virat Kohli hoped all-rounder Hardik Pandya will become a “better cricketer” and scale new heights after making a promising return from the suspension that followed his sexist remarks on a TV show. Pandya, who is still facing an inquiry for his loose talk on women, did not get to bat but he bowled and fielded with purpose, taking two crucial wickets and a brilliant catch to send back home skipper Kane Williamson. Kohli, after having condemned the comments made by Pandya and KL Rahul on the chat show, sounded full of encouragement for the all-rounder after the match.
“In life, there are only two ways to deal with a situation like that. Either you hit rock bottom, or you learn from the situation and see it as a motivation to make things right,” Kohli said. “For a cricketer, there is nothing dearer than the game. You put all your energy in the game, if you respect the game, the game will respect you back.”
The Indian skipper said Pandya showed the required intensity in his comeback game and was already on the road to redemption. “You don’t need do anything extra (in a situation like Pandya’s). Whoever comes out of it positive, his career can scale new heights, like we have seen with many cricketers in the past,” Kohli said. “I hope he goes on that right path and emerges as a better cricketer; and I think he can do that,” said Kohli.
Kohli said any team in the world would love to have Pandya. “It is very, very good to have him. He provides balance to the team. The way he bowled today showed he went back and was practising his skills. You can tell with his intensity, he picked up two crucial wickets as well,” said the skipper.
Mount Maunganui: India skipper Virat Kohli on Monday said watching the young Shubman Gill bat at the nets made him realise that he was not even 10 per cent as talented when he was 19. “There are some outstanding talents coming in. You saw Prithivi Shaw grabbed his opportunities with both hands. Shubman again is a very exciting talent,” Kohli said. “I saw him bat in the nets and I was like, ‘wow! I was not even ten per cent of that when I was 19’.”
“That’s the confidence that they carry and it is great for Indian cricket if the standard keeps going up and the guys coming in can make impact performances straight away and we would be more than happy to give them the chances and help them grow.”