Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane refused to comment on the Mankad controversy surrounding R Ashwin and Jos Buttler on Monday even as his team ended up on the losing side against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur.
Ashwin Mankaded Buttler at a crucial juncture when Rajasthan were cruising in their 185-run chase. The Royals completely lost their way after the controversial run out as they collapsed from 108 for 1 to 164 for 9 in 20 overs to lose the match by 14 runs.
With Buttler going strong at 69 off 43 balls while chasing 185 runs, Ashwin mankaded the Rajasthan Royals opener without giving him any warning.
As per the laws of the game, the third umpire declared Buttler out but such a dismissal had always raised eyebrows as it is considered against the spirit of the game.
“We are not supposed to comment on a controversial issue. The match referee will take the call. We will take the decision sportingly,” Ajinkya Rahane said after the match.
Ashwin justified his actions by saying that he was within the rules of the game.
“No real argument to that. I didn’t even load and he left the crease. It’s always been my take on it, because it’s my half of the crease. We ended on the right side of it but those things are game-changers and batsmen need to be wary of it,” Ashwin said after being questioned about the incident at the post-match presentation.
It would be unfair to take anything away from a spectacular bowling performance by Kings XI Punjab but Rajasthan Royals would wonder how differently things could have ended for them had Buttler not been Mankaded at that crucial stage of the game.
Before the collapse, Rajasthan openers Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane had smashed 78 runs in quick time to lay the foundation for the run chase and entertained their home crowd with some lusty blows early on. Buttler and Sanju Samson then added 30 runs for the second wicket before the controversial run out of the Englishman.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot and Sam Curran then stood up for Kings XI and picked up 2 wickets each to derail the Royals run chase and win the match for Kings XI Punjab.