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Virat Kohli Fans Slam Sunil Gavaskar for Hinting at Deep Divide in Indian Cricket Team

File images of Virat Kohli and Sunil Gavaskar.

File images of Virat Kohli and Sunil Gavaskar.

Sunil Gavaskar, in his column, hinted at a divide within the Indian team, saying that treatment meted out to bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin and T Natarajan was biased as there were 'different rules for different players.'

The debate around Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to return home after the first Test match against Australia to attend the birth of his and Bollywood actor and wife Anushka Sharma’s first child once again heated up on social media after veteran cricketer-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar penned a column in Sportstar.

Indicating that there’s a divide in the Indian cricket team, Gavaskar said that bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin are sidelined if they do not pick “heaps of wickets" in a game while the established batsmen in the team have it easy and are awarded chances upon chances despite their failure.

The veteran opener added that the newcomer T Natarajan was “forced" to stay back as a net bowler after the birth of his daughter following his brilliant performances in the limited-overs cricket.

“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 ask Ravi Ashwin and T. Natarajan," Gavaskar wrote.

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Gavaskar’s column and certain dig at captain Kohli were met with disagreement on Twitter. Many wondered if the cricket pundit was “unnecessarily" picking on the captain.

“Disagree with Gavaskar. No one is forcing Natarajan to bowl in the nets. He realizes it’s a stepping stone for him. Kohli deciding to go back is a personal choice. Cricket is his profession, a part of life, not his entire life. If that renders him unfit to play, sure, fire him," wrote one Twitter user.

However, many lauded Gavaskar for putting his point of view across bluntly. The cricket fans believed that Kohli should have stayed back as a leader especially after the humiliating loss to Aussies at the Adelaide Oval.

Meanwhile, a day ahead of the ODI clash, Kohli made his stance very clear over why he chose to return home to be with Anushka.

“I will be flying back after the first Test and that was purely based on the fact that we have a quarantine period both ways and I had explained the same to the selectors during our selection meeting," Kohli said in a virtual conference, a video of which was shared by the BCCI on Twitter.

“I wanted to be back home in time to be with my wife for the birth of our first child and it is a very very special and very very beautiful moment in our lives and something I truly want to experience," the skipper said before adding, “That was the reason behind my decision which was communicated to the selectors during the selection meeting."

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