This image from the IPL this morning is all the proof you need of how much power Aussie legend Ricky Ponting still wields in the cricket world.
Ravi Ashwin will play by Ricky Ponting’s rules — this time, at least.
The Indian spinner has been happy to Mankad opposing batsmen if they wander out of their crease before he’s delivered the ball but when given the chance to run out Aussie opener Aaron Finch in the IPL this morning, Ashwin held back.
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Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in their 59-run loss to the Delhi Capitals, Finch was miles out of his ground when backing up during an Ashwin over. The tweaker went to bowl then stopped, but instead of removing the bails and sending Finch on his way, Ashwin instead warned the Australian limited overs captain he wouldn’t be so lucky if he repeated that mistake.
Addressing the incident after the match, Ashwin tagged his Capitals coach Ponting in a tweet that said: “Let’s make it clear!! First and final warning for 2020. I am making it official and don’t blame me later on.
“@AaronFinch5 and I are good buddies btw.”
Ashwin was unapologetic after sparking huge controversy in last year’s IPL by Mankading England’s Jos Buttler, and has been vocal ever since about bowlers having the right to take such action to stop batters gaining an unfair advantage by walking down the pitch before setting off for a run.
But Ponting, who became Ashwin’s coach when the off-spinner moved to Delhi from Kings XI Punjab this season, made it clear before the IPL kicked off Mankading has no place in his team.
“I’ll be having a chat with him (Ashwin) about (Mankading), that’s the first thing I’ll do,” Ponting said on The Grade Cricketer podcast in August.
“Obviously, he wasn’t in our squad last year, he’s one of our players that we tried to afford to bring in this year.
“Look, he’s a terrific bowler, and he’s done a great job in the IPL for a long period of time now, but I must admit watching that last season, as soon as it happened and he did that, I actually sat our boys down and said, ‘Look, I know he’s done it, there’ll be others around the tournament who’ll think about doing this as well but that’s not going to be the way that we play our cricket. We won’t be doing that’.
“So, that’s going to be a conversation and that’s going to be a hard conversation I will have to have with him, but I’m pretty sure he’ll take it on the chin.
“I think, even him, looking back now, probably he’d say it was within the rules and he’s right to do it, but this is not within the spirit of the game, not in the way I want, at least with the Delhi Capitals anyway.”
Ashwin didn’t need to cut Finch’s innings short in controversial fashion as the Capitals cruised to a comfortable win, helped by South African quick Kagiso Rabada claiming four wickets — including the key scalp of Indian captain Virat Kohli — to lead Delhi to the top of the table.
Rabada returned figures of 4/28 and topped the IPL bowling chart with 12 wickets in five matches after Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis smashed an unbeaten 53 to guide Delhi to 4/196, a total the Capitals defended by restricting Bangalore to 9/137.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel took two wickets and gave away just 18 runs from his four overs and paceman Anrich Nortje also struck twice.
“I don’t really plan to get wickets, you can only control in which areas to bowl. I think if you want to be the best you have to adjust to the conditions,” Rabada said.
“I think the spinners did a really good job today, they set up the game for us in the powerplay. Axar and Ashwin actually won us the game.”
Patel, coming into the XI for injured Amit Mishra who was ruled out of the IPL, was named man of the match for his economical bowling figures.
Kohli, who was kept in check during his 39-ball 43 before falling to Rabada, admitted his team was far from convincing against a top Delhi unit.
“DC are playing some really good cricket. Their batting is fearless. They have got pace, they have got good spinners,” said Kohli.
“I won’t say they are unbeatable, but they will be hard to beat. Against this side, you have to bring your A game. We didn’t tonight.”
The T20 tournament is into its third week in the United Arab Emirates after being moved out of India due to the coronavirus pandemic.