Jos Buttler was livid after he was Mankaded by R Ashwin for 69 in Rajasthan Royals’ opening match of the 2019 Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur on Monday. Opinions were immediately divided in the commentary box. Matthew Hayden said Ashwin’s act was ‘very, very disappointing’ while Harsha Bhogle argued it was within the rules of the game.
Buttler, who looked set for his maiden IPL hundred, walked off and was far from pleased with what happened. RR fans at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur went berserk but that noise might have been part of a roaring reception for Steve Smith who walked in to bat at the fall of Buttler’s wicket.
Buttler was in red-hot form for Royals in 2018 when he scored 548 runs from 13 matches with a best of 95 not out and he got off to a fiery start in the new season. Chasing 185, Buttler and Ajinjya Rahane charged away to 78 for the opening wicket before Rahane fell to R Ashwin on the first ball of the ninth over. However, Buttler continued to bully the KXIP attack and scored his first ever hundred in the T20 format.
Rajasthan Royals were cruising along when it all unfolded in the 13th over. Ashwin Mankaded Buttler and appealed immediately. Jos Buttler was seething with rage but he had to walk off after replays confirmed Buttler was short of the crease. It looked like Ashwin stopped in his bowling action and maybe even waited for Buttler to leave his crease. The third umpire ruled Buttler out and he was on his way to the RR dugout.
Chowkidar Nitin Tripathi (@NitinTr81906338) March 25, 2019
England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan said he could not believe what he saw and reckoned Ashwin will regret his decision.
“I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that,” Morgan tweeted.
I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that.
Eoin Morgan (@Eoin16) March 25, 2019
Ashwin, that’s shocking behaviour! Very disappointed to see that.
Jason Roy (@JasonRoy20) March 25, 2019
Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 25, 2019
It’s within the laws of the game but Jos Butler should have been warned by Ashwin before that. Very Surprised ! Remember Ashwin doing the same in an international game where Sehwag withdrew the appeal.
Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 25, 2019
He ain’t winning any spirit of cricket awards is old ashwin
Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) March 25, 2019
However, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra said the Law of cricket was above the “Mythical Spirit of The Game”.
“Law is above The Mythical Spirit of The Game. Don’t fret. Don’t frown,” Chopra tweeted.
Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 25, 2019
Snehal Pradhan, however, had an interesting observation.
“Ashwin resurrects a mode of dismissal that should be used alll the time against batter who look to gain an extra centimetre. What a guy,” she tweeted.
Buttler was batting like a man possessed and he was not at all happy with his mode of dismissal. This debate is unlikely to settle down soon.
Jason Roy, Buttler’s England teammate, said he was very disappointed to see what happened on the field in Jaipur.
“Ashwin, that’s shocking behaviour! Very disappointed to see that,” Roy tweeted.
Dale Steyn, South Africa’s pace ace, had this to say: “He ain’t winning any spirit of cricket awards is old Ashwin.”
In 66 T20 Internationals for England, Jos Buttler has scored 1260 runs and hit 7 fifties. He is a destructive ODI player too and has 7 hundreds from 127 matches. In 2018, Buttler was on fire with some sensational knocks through the course of the IPL. He was selected in the England Test series against Pakistan and had to leave the IPL with one league match still to be played. He scored 67 and 80 not out in two Tests against Pakistan.
Against India in Nottingham, Buttler scored 106 – his maiden Test hundred.
Jos Buttler was also in good form in the ODI series against Austraia in England last year. He scored 91 not out, 54 not out and 110 not out in the series.