R Ashwin had to stick to our decision to not mankad the batters, reveals Shreyas Iyer 

Delhi Capitals’ full-time skipper Shreyas Iyer has revealed that ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had to stick with the team’s decision of not running out the batters at the non-striker’s end in the IPL. He also added that Australians sledge in a way that hurts from inside, unlike New Zealand. 

Mankading the batters, who take a headstart at the non-striker’s end, has been a rule of the game for decades now, but somehow, it has always managed to ruffle feathers. It has been likened to going against the spirit of the game and looked down on by a vast section of cricket fans, experts and players alike. However, Ravichandran Ashwin has been one of those players who has never shied away from mankading the batters. But, then in the Delhi-based franchise, where he no longer leads the side unlike his last franchise, DC’s head coach Ricky Ponting had made it clear that the spinner would no longer mankad the batters.

Speaking on the same, Delhi’s regular skipper Shreyas Iyer stated that the senior spinner had to stick to the decision made by the team to not mankad the batters unless something ‘weird’ happens.

“Ravichandran Ashwin had to stick with our decision (of not running out at non-striker’s end) and he agreed to everything that we said unless and until the batsman goes and does weird,” Iyer told The Grade Cricketer.

Shreyas Iyer has been an integral part of the Indian ODI outfit, and he was a key part of the side on their tours of New Zealand and Australia last year. He had scored 217 runs against New Zealand in the three-match ODI series at 72.33. Recalling his experience, he revealed that when he saw Shikhar Dhawan’s name on the wall of fame in Hamilton’s dressing room, he wanted to feature there too, which he managed the very next day by scoring a century.

“I feel New Zealand are a really good team and very challenging, even when they are trailing, they pull up their socks and fight hard. I remember the incident, sitting in Hamilton dressing room, I saw the wall of fame there, I saw Shikhar Dhawan there and wanted my name to be there as well. It was an instinctive thought and suddenly, the next day I scored a century, it was just one of those thoughts.”

Sledging has been an integral part of the game for the longest time possible. Reflecting on his sledging experiences, the right-hander asserted that the Aussies say things that can hurt from inside, unlike the Kiwis, who just indulge in normal banter.

“Whenever you are going to play New Zealand, you know that they are not going to be in your ear, chirping things. It was a fun tour against New Zealand, across the board, batting, bowling or fielding. Sledging wise, they would have banter but nothing that would hurt you from inside, not like Australians.”

He also revisited his sledging experience against Australia when they had toured India in 2017.  Playing for India A, Iyer had smashed a double-hundred against them 

“Against Australia, there was chirping and sledging, it was my first, it started even before I faced my first delivery. Matthew Wade from behind the wicket was like, “I have a feeling that he is going to go big from the first ball,” and Warner too came up. I hit a six off the first ball and I didn’t say anything, I just kept quiet. Wade then said, “Oh I was right on point with the prediction,” and suddenly Warner too came up and started talking. I went on to score 200 from there on in that innings, it was like 2-3 years ago.”

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