'I will be made villain': Ashwin recalls when his Kings XI Punjab teammate refused to 'Mankad' in IPL 2019
- Former Kings XI Punjab bowler R Ashwin disclosed how his teammate and fast bowler refused to 'Mankad' a Mumbai Indians batsman during IPL 2019.
Ever since R Ashwin 'Mankaded' Jos Buttler in an Indian Premier League (IPL) game between Punjab Kings (known as Kings XI Punjab at the time) and Rajasthan Royals during the 2019 edition, the debate over the 'spirit of cricket' attached to the mode of dismissal has resurfaced multiple times.
While numerous players, current and former, believe there is nothing wrong with the move, there are those who say otherwise. But one thing's for sure; if a player does, he cops a lot of flak. Punjab bowler Ashwin was no different either.
Is the stigma attached to the act of 'Mankading' the reason behind more bowlers not doing it? While it would be wrong generalize, it definitely was the case with Ashwin's Punjab teammate, Ankit Rajpoot. In a recent conversation with former Indian left-arm spinner Murali Kartik on the YouTube show DRS with Ash, Ashwin revealed why the Indian pacer refused to resort to 'Mankading' just 15 days later after their RR clash against Mumbai Indians.
During the chat, Ashwin first opened up on why he thinks it's unfair to criticize the bowler for stopping the batsmen who are looking to gain an unfair advantage.
"The batsman are so used to meandering along. Someone asking them to stay inside the crease itself looks like a hindrance to them. This is so wrong asking a bowler not to run batsmen out at the non-striker’s end. Especially, when the game is so competitive, I firmly believe that a bowler shouldn’t be stopped."
He then disclosing details of his conversation with Ankit Rajpoot.
"After the incident happened against Rajasthan (Jos Buttler Mankading controversy), in the next match we were playing Mumbai. The last-wicket pair of Rahul Chahar and Alzarri Joseph were batting. One ball and two runs to win. I went to the bowler Ankit Rajpoot and told him, ‘these batsmen will be charging out to run. Just stop and send them back in if he (non-striker) starts running before you deliver’. He was scared and said, ‘No way, I won’t do that."
Shedding more light on why Rajpoot did not pull the plug, Ashwin revealed: "He (Rajpoot) froze when he came to deliver. He came and said to me, ‘If I do this, it will create controversy and I will be made the villain. I told him, ‘what you are doing here is correct. The non-striker is at fault here."
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians eventually ended up winning the match. The 2019 champions were given a target of 198 which they chased down in exactly 20 overs.