Gavaskar questions 'double standards' in Indian team

Different rules for different players: Sunil Gavaskar questions 'double standards' in Indian team

In a column for the 'Sportstar' magazine, the former India captain felt ace off-spinner R Ashwin has been treated unfairly

Sunil Gavaskar. Credit: AFP

Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar questioned the 'double standards' existing in the Indian dressing room and slammed the management for having 'different rules for different players'. 

In a column for the 'Sportstar' magazine, the former India captain felt ace off-spinner R Ashwin has been treated unfairly for his 'forthrightness'.

"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,” Gavaskar wrote

Ashwin, an experienced campaigner, was one of the very few standout performers with 4/55 in an otherwise embarrassing performance from the Indian team in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. Virat Kohli's men were outwitted by eight wickets in a game that saw them sink to their lowest ever Test score of 36. 

Gavaskar also took a dig at the 'favourable' treatment offered to skipper Virat Kohli, who has gone back home from the four-match series to be with his actor wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child. Gavaskar, known as the 'Original Little Master', felt T Natarajan was ignored despite the rising paceman being in a similar situation. 

"Another player will also wonder about the rules, but, of course, can’t make any noise about it as he is a newcomer. He is T Natarajan. The left-arm yorker specialist who made an impressive debut in the T20s 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 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. 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,” he pointed out.

Natarajan, who made his international debut in the limited-overs series in Australia, was asked to be a 'net' bowler for the ongoing Test series. 

"That’s Indian cricket. Different rules for different people. If you don’t believe me ask Ravi Ashwin and T. Natarajan,” said Gavaskar.