It looked like a match that was being played out in the true spirit of the game till Kings XI Punjab skipper R. Ashwin decided to Mankad Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium during their Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday.
While Ashwin's decision to Mankad Buttler is legal as per the laws of the game, an angry Buttler walked back to the dressing room making his displeasure known. But for Ashwin, it was nothing more than an instinctive decision as he revealed at the end of the game.
"No real argument to that (Mankading incident) and it's pretty instinctive. I actually didn't load and he left the crease. 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," the skipper explained.
While Rajasthan lost from a position of strength, Ashwin said such dismissals against the run of play does have an effect on the opposition.
"We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments," he said.
Not many teams manage to defend 39 runs off the last four overs of a T20 game, but Ashwin's boys managed to do that on Monday and the spinner felt it was a quality show from the bowlers.A
"We all know that after six overs it is going to slow down and gives a bit for the bowlers. Credit to bowlers on how they bowled. I have been working on a lot of variations, so pretty pleased that it came out. Also, getting the ball to duck back into the right-hander was a big plus," he smiled.
Ashwin felt that there were a lot of positives to take home from the lion-hearted effort of the bowlers and added that the right boxes were ticked.
"Lots of pluses. (Mohammed) Shami's form, Ankit's (Rajpoot) ability to bowl and come back into the game. Mujeeb (ur Rehman) delivered the goods. 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 our midst, but if we can have good five overs, there is nothing like it," he said.
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