Despite all the flak that Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul have received for their comments on a television talk show, former India captain Rahul Dravid feels that the controversy will spur the duo on to greater success on the cricket field.
“I will say honestly, I do believe that both of them have not yet achieved their obvious potential that they both have, and maybe this might be the catalyst that would lead them to reflect and help them reach the level and potential they can achieve in all forms of the game,” Rahul Dravid was quoted as saying by Espncricinfo.
The two players were placed under immediate suspension and sent home from the recent tour of Australia after the show — which saw Pandya coming up with comments widely perceived as sexist — was telecast.
That forced them to miss several One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Australia and New Zealand before the Committe of Administrators (CoA) of the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) revoked the suspension.
Dravid however, felt that the duo should strive to put the entire episode behind them and focus on their game.
“Absolutely. I have no doubt about it. I have coached both of them at various levels. I somehow just don’t feel that interview truly reflected the players. Hopefully they will come back better and stronger from this. If they can do that they can certainly be role models,” he said.
“I did not see the full show. I saw bits and pieces. At one level the players themselves have come out and said how disappointed they were with the way it came out, and rightly so. Clearly when you are representing India you need to be a bit careful with your public views and comments that you make because it might be completely inappropriate to a lot of people. Having said that it is important to recognise and realise that sometimes these things can happen,” he added.
“Sportspersons and public figures can make mistakes. It is part of learning and growing up.”