Ravichandran Ashwin has “suffered” within the Indian team because of his “forthrightness”, such that he has always had to fight for his place in the XI, said Sunil Gavaskar. Claiming there are “different rules for different players” within the national side, Gavaskar said T Natarajan — who had become a father during the IPL season — would also be wondering about such “rules”.
Writing a column on Sportstar, Gavaskar said: “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.”
He then went on to speak about T Natarajan, who made his international debut days after having becoming a father, travelling directly to Australia from the IPL bio-bubble in the UAE, where he had burst onto the stage.
Natarajan is yet to see his daughter and is with the Indian team as a net bowler even though he is not part of the Test side. Virat Kohli has left Australia after the 1st Test to be present for the birth of his child in India.
Speaking about this, Gavaskar said, “(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. 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.”