New Delhi, December 23
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has hinted at a divide within the Indian team, saying that treatment meted out to bowlers like R Ashwin and T Natarajan is biased as there are “different rules for different players”.
The former India opener said that Ashwin has suffered within the Indian team because of his forthrightness. He also took a dig at the India skipper Virat Kohli, who got permission to leave the tour of Australia to attend the birth of his child, while Natarajan who became father during the IPL playoffs is yet to see his daughter.
“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.
“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,” he added.
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. “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,” he added. — IANS