India opener KL Rahul labeled Hardik Pandya the "diva" of the Indian cricket team while making a few tongue-in-cheek remarks about the all-rounder's "attention-seeking" attitude.
In a video posted on Board of Control from Cricket in India (BCCI) Twitter page, Rahul and his India teammate Dinesh Karthik, who are currently in Sri Lanka for the ongoing T20I tri-series (Nidahas Trophy), said the team is "peaceful" without Pandya.
Notably, the Mumbai Indians (MI) all-rounder was rested for the tri-nation series — involving hosts Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — along with skipper Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav following their heavy workloads in the recently-concluded South Africa tour.
"It is very peaceful because he (Hardik Pandya) is like a Diva when we go out. He wants all the attention. Everybody look at me... Everybody listen to me... I am wearing this watch... this is what I bought today. We are not interested. We don't want to listen to him talking," Rahul said.
"Yeah, it is far more relaxed. We are definitely not missing you. Everything is good," said Karthik.
However, the two quickly conceded that Pandya "keeps it entertaining" and the atmosphere in the dressing room is not the same without the 24-year-old.
Check out Pandya's response to the video below
Notably, Kohli had revealed that Pandya keeps playing "English songs" in the dressing room without knowing "five words of even a single song". The big-hitting all-rounder is known his live-life-king-size attitude as he keeps grabbing attention with his tattoos and ever-changing hairstyles.
"We play just Punjabi music in the dressing room. Most of the players do not carry their iPods. Hardik Pandya has an iPod. It has all English songs. Pandya listens to English songs but he doesn't know five words of even a single song," Kohi told television anchor Gaurav Kapur during the chat show Breakfast with Champions in November last year.
"He just grooves to the music beats. We all get irritated with his songs," he added.
Pandya rose to prominence during his Indian Premier League (IPL) stint with MI in 2015 when he hit a match-winning 61 against Kolkata Knight Riders. The Baroda cricketer knocked at the Indian selectors' doors with a solid Syed Mushtaq Ali campaign in 2016, hitting 377 runs from 10 innings.
Pandya has been impressive ever since he made his India debut in January 2016. He has gone on to establish himself as one of the key members of the Kohli-led India team.