Photo of former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar(Twitter)
Photo of former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar(Twitter)

‘Don’t believe me? Ask Ashwin and Natarajan’: Gavaskar cites ‘different rules for different people’ in Indian dressing room

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar pointed out the difference in the treatment given to T Natarajan and skipper Virat Kohli in context of getting paternity leaves during the Australia tour.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2021 09:14 AM IST

Former Indian captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has taken a dig at the Indian team management, claiming that there are ‘different rules for different players’ in the dressing room. Citing the example of left-arm pacer T Natarajan, Gavaskar stated that the newcomer would also be wondering about these ‘rules’.

In his latest column for Sportstar, Gavaskar pointed out the difference in the treatment given to Natarajan and skipper 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. Meanwhile, Kohli has left Australia after the 1st Test to be with his family for the birth of his child in India.

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Opining strongly on this, Gavaskar wrote, “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.”

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“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 added.

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Gavaskar also cited the example of veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who, as per the former Indian captain, has ‘suffered’ not for his bowling ability but 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.

Gavaskar ended up his column with the sentence which read, “That’s Indian cricket. Different rules for different people. If you don’t believe me ask Ravi Ashwin and T. Natarajan.”

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