Kings XI Punjab started off their twelfth Indian Premier League with a controversial win over Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. The headline of the game is well dominated by Ravichandran Ashwin mankading in-form Jos Buttler, who was looking well settled to take the game away from the visitors. Royals’ succumbed after Buttler’s dismissal and fell short by 14 runs. Opinions were divided after Ashwin's Mankading but in the post-match press conference the man himself did not hesitate even for a single second and said it was an instinctive decision. “It was very instinctive and it wasn’t planned or anything. It happened well within the rules of the game. I don’t know where the understanding of the spirit of the game comes in here because quite naturally it was there in the rule, it’s there,” he said flamboyantly.
In the past, there have been a few mankading incidents and on many occasion, keeping the spirit of the game, the opposition captain has called the batsman back to have a bat. Throwing a bit of light on one such incident happened by in 1987 World Cup, Ashwin was asked why he didn’t do the same.
“I don’t understand where the spirit of the game comes here because it rules. What applies to one man doesn’t apply for everyone else. Neither Jos Buttler playing then, nor was I playing. It’s better to not compare two people.”
The 1987 World Cup will be remembered for an incident between Courtney Walsh and Saleem Jaffar in the encounter between West Indies and Pakistan at Lahore. West Indies had reached 216 and Pakistan, in response, needed 14 runs off the last over. Abdul Qadir hit a six and Pakistan needed two off the last ball. Walsh was about to bowl but had spotted that Jaffar, the non-striker, had come out of the crease. He stopped in his delivery stride and could have run-out Jaffar but he decided against it. Pakistan went on to win the match off the last ball for their first win in the World Cup against the two-time champions.
Buttler falls, collapse ensues
The game was well within the control of Rajasthan Royals’ for most of the second innings with Buttler guiding the ship. However, tfollowing his dismissal, Rajasthan Royals suffered a dramatic collapse and they eventually suffered their first loss against Kings XI Punjab at home. On this, Ashwin was asked what the turning point in the game was.
“I think Sam Curran’s over was the turning point for us when he sent both Sanju Samson and Steve Smith back to the pavilion.” Curran was smashed for 48 runs in three overs but he bounced back with a brilliant last over to dent Rajasthan Royals.
Kings XI Punjab will play their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders at the iconic Eden Gardens, Kolkata on March 27. This remains to be seen if they can get another ‘away’ win under their belt.