Batting great Sunil Gavaskar believes that there are “different rules for different players” in the current Indian team. Gavaskar gave examples of Ravichandran Ashwin and T Natarajan’s situations to put weight behind his bold claim. Also Read - India vs Australia: Steve Smith Hails Rishabh Pant; Calls Him "Exceptional Talent"
Gavaskar claims that the veteran ace spinner has suffered because of his straightforward attitude in the team meetings. Also Read - Team India Reclaims Top Spot in World Test Championship, Jumps to Second in ICC Rankings After Historic 2-1 Series Win Over Australia
“For far too long Ashwin has suffered not for his bowling ability of which only the churlish will have doubts, but for his forthrightness and speaking his mind at meetings where most others just nod even if they don’t agree,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar. Also Read - Never Ever, Ever Underestimate The Indians: Justin Langer After Series Defeat
Gavaskar said that any team would welcome a bowler like Ashwin in their team, however in Team India if he doesn’t take wickets in one game then it’s tough for him to make into the playing XI for the next game.
“Any other country would welcome a bowler who has more than 350 Test wickets and not to forget four-Test match centuries, too. However, if Ashwin doesn’t take heaps of wickets in one game he is invariably sidelined for the next one. That does not happen to established batsmen though. Even if they fail in one game they get another chance and another and another but for Ashwin the rules seem to be different,” he added.
The former India cricketer also took a dig on Virat Kohli, who has been granted paternity leave for the birth of his child in the middle of the Test series against Australia.
Gavaskar added that Natarajan has been forced to stay back only as a net bowler even though the limited-overs series, of which he was a part, ended almost a fortnight back.
“Another player who will wonder about the rules but, of course, can’t make any noise about it as he is a newcomer. It is T. Natarajan. The left-arm yorker specialist who made an impressive debut in the T20 and had Hardik Pandya gallantly offering to share the man of the T20 series prize with him had become a father for the first time even as the IPL playoffs were going on. He was taken to Australia directly from the UAE and then looking at his brilliant performances, he was asked to stay on for the Test series but not as a part of the team but as a net bowler. Imagine that,” wrote Gavaskar.
“A match-winner, albeit in another format, being asked to be a net bowler. He will thus return home only after the series ends in the third week of January and get to see his daughter for the first time then. And there is the captain going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child. That’s Indian cricket. Different rules for different people. If you don’t believe me ask Ravi Ashwin and T. Natarajan,” he further wrote.
Team India suffered a humiliating 8-wicket defeat in the first Test against Australia, where Virat Kohli and Co. were bundled out for their lowest-ever Test score 36 runs in the second innings. Both teams will next lock horns in the Boxing Day Test at MCG.