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Is Ashwin being punished for being outspoken?

December 24, 2020 10:30 IST

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after getting Steve Smith's wicket during the first Test in Adelaide. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Sunil Gavaskar says Ravichandran Ashwin has suffered within the Indian team because of 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, Gavaskar wrote in his latest column in Sportstar magazine.

'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,' Gavaskar pointed out.

'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,' the cricket legend added.

 

Gavaskar slammed the Indian team management, stating that there are 'different rules for different players' in the dressing room.

Citing the example of left-arm pacer Thangarasu Natarajan, Gavaskar stated that the newcomer would also be wondering about these 'rules'.

In his Sportstar column, Gavaskar pointed out the difference in the treatment given to Natarajan and Virat Kohli in the context of getting paternity leaves.

Natarajan became a father while playing the IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He is yet to see his new-born daughter as he travelled directly to Australia and made his international debut thereafter.

Kohli flew out of Australia after the first Test to be with his wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child in Mumbai.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Sunil Gavaskar pointed out the difference in the treatment given to Thangarasu Natarajan and Virat Kohli in the context of paternity leave. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

'(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,' Gavaskar wrote.

'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 going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child,' Gavaskar wrote.

'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,' Gavaskar wrote, 'ask Ravi Ashwin and T Natarajan.'

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