R Ashwin is all over the news after the Mankad incident during the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab on Monday. Rajasthan Royals were cruising along at 108 for 1 in their chase of 185 before the incident took place in the 13th over.
On the penultimate delivery of the over, Ashwin stopped at the bowling crease while watching whether Jos Buttler remains in his crease. However, the Royals opener walked out of the crease, giving Ashwin a chance to affect a run-out and the latter did not waste it. He immediately appealed for a run-out and eventually got the decision in his favour. The dismissal completely changed the course of the game. Royals’ chase fell apart soon as they suffered an inexplicable batting collapse.
Before departing, Buttler had slammed 69 off 43 balls with the help of 10 fours and two sixes. He had also added 78 runs with Ajinkya Rahane for the first wicket. The Royals went on to finish the game on 170 for 9 despite being 108 for 1 and then 148 for 2 at one stage.
And while Ashwin is facing the flak from several quarters , this was not the first time he tried to affect a Mankad in international cricket. The off-spinner had previously done it in 2012 during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Brisbane. At that time, Ashwin had ran non-striker Lahiru Thirimanne out.
However, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar had persuaded stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag to withdraw the appeal.
Here is a clip of that entire episode in 2012:
— 𝓣𝓱𝓪𝓵𝓪𝓹𝓪𝓽𝓱𝔂 𝓢𝓱𝓪 😎 (@ShaMahadev) March 26, 2019
Meanwhile, Ashwin has defended his action, saying that it was an instinctive decision.
“It was pretty instinctive. I actually didn’t load and he (Buttler) left the crease,” Ashwin said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “That’s always been my take on it because it’s my half of the crease. I was not even at the crease, he wasn’t even looking at me and he just left the place.”