Hardik Pandya at the toss (Pic: AFP)
Hardik Pandya and Co. recently faced the wrath of netizens following India's shock T20I series defeat at the hands of West Indies.
Pandya, in particular, received harsh criticism for his remarks in the post-match conference on Sunday. When asked about the possibility of losing a series after 17 years, he replied: "It's okay to be unique."
"In hindsight, one series here or there doesn't matter, but the commitment to the goal is important," Pandya continued.
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He suggested that one shouldn't make too much of the series loss because the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA is still a long way off. These remarks did not go well with the fans, and in the latest events, India's Test specialist R Ashwin has also taken a subtle dig at the T20I skipper.
Also Read: Where did it all go wrong for India in the West Indies T20I series decider?
Ashwin, who was not involved in the white-ball series against the West Indies, cited the example of MS Dhoni, explaining that those who learn from defeats go on to become champions.
Objecting to Pandya's remarks, Ashwin said: "I don't think it is too early (to talk about the T20 World Cup). MS Dhoni and a few other coaches once shared a very valuable lesson with me. They said, When you lose, you learn so many things. But the people who learn after they win, go on become champions."
He further acknowledged that it was disappointing to lose a series to the West Indies, adding that young players may find it challenging to explore the Caribbean pitches.
He went on to defend the youngsters and hit back at the critics. "I am not backing anybody, but going to the West Indies is challenging. There are some innate secrets, which only the locals know more than the visiting players, especially if they are young."