Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has targeted the Indian team management for "different rules for different players" as it has allowed captain Virat Kohli to go home on paternity leave while newcomer T Natarajan is yet to see his newborn daughter.
In a column on Sportstar, he also sought the example of R Ashwin, who is "sidelined" if he "doesn’t take heaps of wickets in one game" while the same "does not happen to established batsmen".
The column, written after India's loss against Australia in Adelade, said Ashwin "has suffered not for his bowling ability...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. Even if they fail in one game they get another chance and another and another but for Ashwin the rules seem to be different," Gavaskar said in a strongly-worded article.
Another player who will wonder about the rules, Gavaskar wrote, is newcomer Natarajan had become a father for the first time even as the IPL playoffs were going on.
"He was taken to Australia directly from UAE and then looking at his brilliant performances, he was asked to stay on for the 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," 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 going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child," he added.
"That’s Indian cricket. Different rules for different people. If you don’t believe me ask Ravi Ashwin and T. Natarajan," he concluded.
Skipper Kohli headed home on Tuesday for the birth of his first child next month with actor wife Anushka Sharma. The next Test is in Melbourne from December 26.