Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar took an indirect dig at the Indian team management, claiming that there were different rules for different players in the side. He spoke about how veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has always had to fight for his place in the side.
Ashwin was impressive in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval as he picked up figures of 4-55 in the first innings. However, Sunil Gavaskar believes if Ashwin had not scalped those many wickets, he would have been easily made the scapegoat and dropped from the team.
Sunil Gavaskar feels Ashwin faces this kind of treatment because he dares to speak his mind out during team meetings. He reckons the 34-year-old does not get the consistent amount of chances that batsmen receive in the team.
“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. 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,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
Sunil Gavaskar also claimed that the Indian team has been unfair with T Natarajan
Not many know that T Natarajan had become a father during the IPL 2020 playoffs. However, he received his maiden India call-up and travelled with the national side straight to Australia following the IPL.
Following the end of the limited-overs leg in which he starred, Natarajan was asked to stay back as a net bowler for the Test series, although he wasn't a part of India's Test squad.
This meant Natarajan wouldn't be able to meet his daughter at least till the third week of January. On the other hand, skipper Virat Kohli was allowed to take a paternity leave after the Adelaide Test, as he awaits the birth of his first child.
Sunil Gavaskar was unhappy with different players in the Indian team getting different kinds of treatment. He feels there need to be the same set of rules for every single player.
“(T Natarajan) had become a father for the first time even as the IPL playoffs were going on. He was asked to stay on for the (Australia) Test series but not as a part of the team but as a net bowler. Imagine that. A match winner, albeit in another format, being asked to be a net bowler," Sunil Gavaskar said.
"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 (Virat Kohli) going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child,” Sunil Gavaskar added.
The second Test between India and Australia will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting December 26.
It will be interesting to see how the Indian batting line-up responds after their collapse in Adelaide, especially in the absence of their talisman.Published 23 Dec 2020, 16:52 IST