Hardik received widespread criticism for his 'sexist' and 'jingoist' comments on a talk show in2019. He was subsequently handed a couple of match bans by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The lower back injury that followed the episode led to one of the lowest points of Hardik Pandya's career. By the time he recovered and returned to the field, the entire world had gone inside their homes due to COVID-19.
The all-rounder from Baroda emphasised how he and Krunal used the lockdown to improve themselves as human beings. Speaking on the new Times of India podcast - Sportscast, Pandya said:
"Last year, it (the lockdown) helped us improve as overall individuals. For us, it was more important because we could spend time on our skills. We were able to improve our fitness because we had time and, by God's grace, we have a gym where we can work out as well. And we got to spend time with each other."
Hardik Pandya added:
"As individuals, we are very honest with each other. So if something was wrong about Krunal, I told him. If something was wrong about me, he told me. For us, it was an improvement phase and our goals changed in life. We got so much time that we spoke about everything, from our cricket to our lives... We improved as humans as well."
Wherever me and Hardik Pandya are, it's because of our father: Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya has stated in the past that it was their father's hard work and support that mouded the duo into Indian cricketers. Hardik Pandya, Krunal's father, left his business to shift to Surat at a very early age to provide his sons with good training in the sport.
Earlier this year, senior Pandya breathed his last due to a cardiac arrest.
"We have always said that whatever we are and wherever we are, it's because of our father's struggle and vision. When I six and Hardik was three, we never imagined playing for India or what we want to do in life. It was his vision. He saw me and said - 'My kids will play for India," said Krunal Pandya.