Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has taken a dig at the Indian team-management over the treatment meted out to veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The legendary batsman has claimed that there were different rules for different players in the side. Sunil Gavaskar highlighted how Ravichandran Ashwin has always had to fight to keep his place in the team.
Ravichandran Ashwin is regarded as one of India’s greatest match-winners in Tests but has struggled to hold on to his place in the playing eleven for overseas games. The off-spinner has picked up an impressive 370 wickets in just 72 Tests so far with the help of 27 five-wicket hauls. But despite his stunning track record, Ravichandran Ashwin faces the axe every now and then.
He has not played an ODI or T20I since 2017 despite doing well in the IPL. There were also doubts that he might not get a place in the playing eleven for the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. However, he was included in the team for the game and the veteran spinner made the most of it. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 4 wickets including the prized scalp of Steve Smith to help India bowl out the hosts for 191.
And Sunil Gavaskar believes if the spinner had not performed that well, he would have been easily made the scapegoat and dropped from the team. The former cricketer-turned-commentator stated that Ashwin faces this kind of treatment because he dares to speak his mind out during team meetings. Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that the Tamil Nadu ace does not get the amount of chances that batsmen receive in the team.
“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.
“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. 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,” he added.