Suspension on KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya upsets the team balance, admits Virat Kohli

Both the players were sent home after the verdict of the inquiry initially started by the Committee of Administrators.

Aaron Finch of Australia and Virat Kohli of India
Aaron Finch of Australia and Virat Kohli of India. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Indian players Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended until a pending investigation into their controversial comments made on a popular television show, Koffee With Karan. Interestingly, the two players are likely to miss the tour of New Zealand which starts later this month.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli admits that the banned duo was an integral part of the Indian colored outfit and suspension would lead to a big hole in the team line-up. The Delhi born batsman also said it upsets the balance of the side when two quality players like Rahul and Pandya are not featuring for the team in an important assignment like Australia.

Meanwhile, Indian skipper had also criticized the statements saying such inappropriate behavior won’t be tolerated and that team doesn’t align with those views and those are purely individual views. Both the players were sent home after the verdict of the inquiry initially started by the Committee of Administrators.

We are always looking to improve as a side

“We are always looking to improve as a side. We need to strike when the big games arrive. When two quality players (Hardik and Rahul) are not featuring, it upsets the balance of the side. Jadeja is back in the ODI side, let’s see what he’s got to offer,” said Virat Kohli at the toss in the first One-Dayer.

“We would have batted first as well but a couple of players were inclined towards chasing. It’s a brilliant wicket to play on, with a shorter boundary on one side. It’s going to be an exciting chase as I am always inclined towards chasing. That’s always not the team plan, we need to take a collective decision. Anyway, we have to bowl first now,” he further added.

India is playing Australia in the three-match ODI series with the first match started at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. The match will be followed by a game in Adelaide (January 15) and Melbourne (January 18). The series will be followed by an assignment against the Kiwis in New Zealand where Kohli and Co will play five ODIs and three T20Is starting January 23 at Napier.

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