KL Rahul has spoken for the first time since his Koffee With Karan controversy and the cricketer admitted that he faced a hard time post the telecast of the episode featuring him along with India teammate Hardik Pandya.
Rahul spoke about the incident after India's T20I series defeat against Australia in Bengaluru on February 27. This was the 26-year-old's comeback series since being suspended in the aftermath of the January 6 episode of Koffee With Karan. Rahul made an impressive return to the side wherein he made 50 and 47 in the two matches, respectively. Although his efforts could not help his team win either match, he looked comfortable and at his elegant best while batting.
"It was a hard time no doubt. I mean, as a player, as a person, everyone has to go through difficult times and it was my time to go through that and I like I said it gave me time to reflect on my game, on myself. I have always been someone who takes things as it comes," PTI reported Rahul as saying after the second and final T20I against Australia.
When asked whether the controversy changed him as a person, Rahul said that it had indeed humbled him and value his opportunity to play for the Indian team more. "It has humbled me a little bit and you know, respect the opportunity that I have gotten to play for the country. The dream of every kid is to play for the country and I am no different. Just to value where I am, just to keep making opportunities count and put my head down and keep working on my cricket," said Rahul.
Rahul and Pandya, the two cricketers who attended the chat show, were suspended following the outrage regarding their comments on the Karan Johar-hosted show. The said comments were deemed to be "sexist" and "misogynistic". Their provisional bans were lifted on January 24 following which Rahul played for India A and Pandya was flown to New Zealand to join the national team.
Talking about his successful indoctrination back into the national team, Rahul credited the time spent with his mentor and namesake Rahul Dravid. "I got some time off from international cricket, so I could come back to India and reflect on what was not going right for me. Fortunately, I got to play some India A games where the pressure is a bit less and where I could focus on my skill and my technique."
"Got to spend a lot of time with Rahul Dravid, working on my game and chatting about cricket. He helped a lot in the five games I played for India A. The time I have spent in the middle has helped. It is nice to be back with the boys and back in blue," Rahul concluded.