Give Hardik and Rahul another chance, appeals umpire Taufel

Hardik Pandya and K. L. Rahul find themselves in hot water following their sexist remarks in 'Koffee with Karan' show.

Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul have found a support in umpire Simon Taufel.   -  TWITTER

Former Former ICC elite panel umpire Simon Taufel praised the Indian captain Virat Kohli for the way he learned to tackle leadership, which was evident in the way he took his team to the maiden Test series triumph in Australia.

"Virat is now finding or had found out what it takes to be a good leader. Whatever is outside the boundary is complicated and managing that is a real challenge. He has worked that out," said Taufel, who was in the city on an invitation from Silver Oak Estate, a firm organising a tournament for the downtrodden. "He grew up idolising Sachin Tendulkar and under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. They have had a huge impact on his career. But Virat Kohli is his own man now. He has found out what it takes to be the best," Taufel said in a news conference here on Monday.

Taufel, one of the most decorated cricket umpires of the ICC elite panel having won five consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year awards, based his judgement on the way he saw Kohli graduate to his present position. "He (Kohli) took over the captaincy at a very difficult time when M.S. (Dhoni) decided to move on from that role during an Australian series. We have never questioned Virat's cricketing ability but leading a team and particularly leading an Indian team with such scrutiny and expectations is something that you can only feel when you get in the job. He has learnt in the job and when I watched recent interview, I saw a man who was very composed and comfortable in his skin. He was humble about what his side had achieved. He was very respectful and appreciative of all his team members and acknowledged that it was a team effort," Taufel added.

READ: Hardik Pandya, K.L. Rahul tender unconditional apology

"There is one particular moment in my career when I saw Virat as a batsman. It was a One-day International tri series in Hobart (February 28, 2012). India was playing Sri Lanka and he scored a hundred and plenty. Every shot in the innings was in the middle of the bat. He was almost faultless," Taufel said about the momentous win in which Kholi (133 n.o.) starred for India, which overhauled Sri Lankan total of 320 losing three wickets.

When asked about the controversy surrounding the comments of Indian players Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul made in a chat-show, Taufel took a guarded stand saying "people do make mistakes and one really needs to be careful about being overtly critical."

"I knew this question was going to come up. What I would say in every team and in every business and every sport is that good people make a good team. And that we all make mistakes from time to time. We all learn as we go," Taufel said. "Although, I did not see the show, I have read little bit in the Press about some of the complaints. I have made plenty of mistakes in my career and I have learnt along the way. These players may have made some mistakes with some of the things that they have said. But they too will learn, and all the other players and all the other people who have seen this event will also learn," Taufel added.

"So I think we really need to be careful about being overly critical. People do make mistakes but if we learn from that and we are genuine about wanting to do better, and commit to doing better then that's a good thing," one of the finest supervisors of the sport preferred to put a balanced stand on the issue.

Taufel preferred to give India all the credit in winning the Test series and dismissed the argument that it became easy for the visitor as Australia was without its (suspended) players like Steve Smith and David Warner. "You can only play the team in front of you. India can only play the (available) eleven. When you lost your rising stars (Prithvi Shaw) ahead of the first test, that player would have been part of your eleven too. Also not to having R. Ashwin in the last two Test matches would not have been the preferred team to play either," Taufel said.

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