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Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul: Why attitude is more important than talent

ANALYST
Feature
2.48K   //    11 Jan 2019, 14:56 IST

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have landed themselves in trouble
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have landed themselves in trouble

All the spotlight of a historic India win has been taken away by India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya. No doubt Hardik Pandya likes to be in the spotlight but this time it is for the wrong reasons. His appearance with his teammate KL Rahul in a chat show has created a huge controversy.

The episode of the famous talk show “Koffee with Karan”, which had been shot months earlier, was aired on 6th January. This was a day before India won the historic Test series.

Some of his comments in the show are such that they shouldn’t have been aired on national television but they were and as a result, Pandya might have to face the heat. The all-rounders' comments have been termed 'racist', 'sexist' and 'misogynistic'.

Attitude curbing a promising talent

Hardik Pandya's comments generated massive backlash from all quarters
Hardik Pandya's comments generated massive backlash from all quarters

The way Pandya presented himself on the show was unacceptable and that’s where the question of talent versus attitude comes in the picture. Harsha Bhogle once said that talent can take you to a certain level but once you reach the level it’s your attitude that matters.

Pandya has reached the national team because of his talent but now it is all about his attitude. Sir Viv Richards was once asked about Hardik Pandya and he said he has the potential to be one of the best in the world if he keeps his feet on the ground. The great man might have got it spot on but Pandya might have lost it.

You could hardly argue with the fact that Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni have been the most celebrated and popular cricketers in India. How is that over the years we haven’t seen a major controversy from these two off the field? The reason is the way they conduct themselves off the field. They know how to present themselves in front of the public. They have the knowledge of what to speak and when to speak and all this comes from the attitude. Talent can’t teach you these things. It’s the attitude which develops you as a person.

The way Pandya answered some of the questions on the show gave an idea about what he thinks about the others, especially women. The nonchalant and disgusting manner in which he portrayed women has received plenty of backlash on social media.

He had to apologize for his actions. However, his comments have not only put him in trouble but also raised questions over the team’s culture.

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KL Rahul's comments put the spotlight on team management

Some of KL Rahul's comments raise serious questions over the team management
Some of KL Rahul's comments raise serious questions over the team management

There is too much class in KL Rahul to keep getting out for low scores. Talking about his attitude, he seemed to have controlled many things as he presented himself better than Hardik on the show. But the fact that he said he was partying till 5 AM for an 11 AM game raises serious questions over the team management and their rules.

These two players, who could have been India’s future superstars, now have a question mark over their future. The BCCI isn’t impressed with their behaviour and Pandya as well as Rahul will likely face a suspension for their inappropriate comments.

CoA member Vinod Rai has suggested for a two-match ban while Diana Edulji has embarked on legal opinion before deciding the quantum of punishment. On the other hand, BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary has called for the setting up of an inquiry panel where these two players might have to face some tough questions.

The Indian team will hope that this not the start of a downfall of two of their most talented players. We have all seen what Pandya and Rahul are capable of doing on the field but if the off-field behaviour restricts them from performing on the field then it would be a shame.

As mentioned earlier, after a certain level, it’s all about the attitude and mindset. Both aspects are in the individual player’s hand. This incident reiterates that no player is greater than the game itself. Let’s hope that these two players come out of this difficult phase and start performing for India once again.

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