England captain Joe Root said that his batsmen will be on the guard against 'Mankad' dismissals after the controversial incident involving Jos Buttler in the IPL this week. Root reiterated that England players would not resort to the 'Mankad,' running a batsman out backing up at the non-striker’s end, but believes other teams will see it as a legitimate dismissal at the World Cup.
Buttler was incensed when R Ashwin paused in his delivery stride to whip off the bails in an IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab recently. Initially the MCC, who oversee the laws of cricket, ruled the dismissal was fair and cleared Ashwin of any wrongdoing. However, they revised their view later saying they did not think “it was in the spirit of the game".
“It’s not something that I would like to be involved in. I wasn’t too impressed personally,” said Root. “But it’s within the laws of the game as a lot of people have said. Jos had to take it on the chin, unfortunately. You know that some people might be looking to do that now. I know it’s not a straightforward rule but as much as possible there is a way of working out what is out and what’s not.”
England are favourites to win the World Cup. With so much at stake in a World Cup, pressure could persuade players to take any chance that comes their way to gain an advantage. It was significant that Ashwin targeted Buttler, who is not only one of the most devastating players in white-ball cricket, but has also been dismissed run out backing up before.
The law states a batsman can be run out “from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball. It’s about making sure you stay in your crease when he’s running up,” said Root. “I think it’s a good warning now. I’m glad it’s not happened to us in a World Cup final or in a World Cup game. That is a decision that Ashwin made in the heat of the moment. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t be involved in that or make that decision personally.”
Adil Rashid backed up Root saying he felt if an England bowler copied Ashwin it would taint their reputation whereas in India, Ashwin has mostly received support. It shows there could be cultural differences at play at the World Cup with the dismissal accepted more easily in other parts of the world than England where it is viewed as unacceptable, especially if the bowler does not warn the batsman first.