Ravichandran Ashwin is no stranger to using a number of different actions while bowling and he stunned the cricket fans with a bizzare one while playing for the Dindigul Dragons against Chepauk Super Gillies in the season-opener T20 match in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). With 17 runs needed from the last two deliveries of the match, the game was completely out of Chepauk Super Gillies’ hands and Ashwin came up with a unique idea to leave the batsman and the spectators flummoxed. Ashwin delivered the ball without a full action as his non-bowling arm remained unmoved and he completed the run-up by releasing the ball on his left foot.
The ball, however, did not get him the wicket but Dindigul Dragons went on to win the match by 10 runs.
Ashwin was earlier in the news for ‘mankad’-ing Jos Buttler in this year’s Indian Premier League. Buttler was on his way to a great century, but Ashwin noticed that he was backing up too far at the non-striker’s end. Ashwin, while delivering the sixth ball of the 13th over of the match, acted as if he was delivering a ball and then took the bails off once Buttler had left the crease during Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab’s IPL 2019 opener.
The umpires declared him out and Buttler was livid with Ashwin as he walked off the field. The wicketkeeper-batsman was dismissed for 69 runs from 43 balls.
Prior to 2017, bowlers had to warn batsmen if they were backing up too far before a delivery was bowled, but in November 2017, the MCC changed the rule and allowed the bowlers to run out a batsman if he was outside the crease before the ball has been released.
— Shrii (@4th_Umpire_) July 19, 2019
“If the non-striker is out of his ground from the moment the ball comes into play, to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him out,” states the law on Mankad-ing.
When a bowler runs out a batsman in this fashion, it is informally called Mankad-ing. The name for such run outs was coined when Vinoo Mankad ran out Bill Brown twice at the non-striker’s end before delivering the ball in India’s tour of Australia in 1948. The Australian media called the act unsportsmanlike, however, the then Australian captain Don Bradman supported Mankad’s action.