Ravichandran Ashwin has been facing a lot of flak on social media following the ‘Mankading’ incident, of which Rajasthan Royals’ opener Jos Buttler was the victim. Following the match in the post-match customary handshakes session, the England international was evidently seen avoiding eye contact with the Kings XI Punjab skipper. The incident has sparked outrage on social media with veteran cricketers, pundits, and fans weighing in with their take. Several also urged the IPL chairman to take suitable action against the match referee who gave the decision, and Ashwin.
Jos Buttler became the first victim of ‘Mankading’ in the history of the cash-rich IPL when a desperate Ashwin, dismissed the batsman in a controversial manner. As expected Buttler seemed furious and had a heated exchange with Ashwin before leaving the field. Rajasthan were 108 for one in 12.4 overs at that stage. The dismissal was within the rules of the game but sparked a huge controversy and was considered against the spirit of the game as the off-spinner should have given the Englishman a prior warning.
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However, Ashwin feels he was completely within his rights to carry out a dismissal of such nature, which completely turned the match in Kings XI’s favour and clarified there was no argument between him and Buttler. However, the video clearly suggests what Buttler made of the incident.
“No real argument on that and it was pretty instinctive. I didn’t even load and he just left the crease. We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments and batsmen need to be wary of it,” Ashwin said after Kings XI beat Rajasthan by 14 runs.
“We all know that after six overs it is going to slow down. Credit to bowlers on how they bowled. I have been working on a lot of variations, pretty happy that it came out,” he said.
“Sam (Curran) had a bad day with the ball, but he came back well. Everybody ticked their boxes. We do have a few options amongst us, but if we can have good five overs, there is nothing like it.”
Rajasthan Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane refused to comment on the controversial dismissal and left it on the match referee to take a call on the issue.
“We are not supposed to comment on a controversial issue. The match referee will take the call. We will take the decision sportively,” he said when asked about the dismissal.
Rahane too praised the opposition bowlers for restricting Rajasthan, especially after a superb start to the chase.
“I thought we were batting really well. We started off well at the top and then got another good partnership. Later on we needed 39 off 4 overs and we thought that could have been done easily,” he said.
“But Kings XI bowled really well in the last three overs. When you are chasing 180 plus, someone has to go really hard.”