Ask someone to sum up a roller coaster ride in two words and if they happen to be a cricket fan, their response probably will be: Ravichandran Ashwin.
On Monday, Ashwin managed to give a crash course to the cricket world on 'Mankading' after he ran out Rajasthan Royals' Jos Buttler in a dismissal that stirred a major controversy. While the cricket textbook backed the spinner's move, the "spirit of the game" was questioned nonetheless.
Responding to his method post-game, Ashwin said, "It is there in the rules of the game. I don't know where the understanding of the spirit of the game comes from because quite naturally if it's there in the rules, it's there. So probably the rules need to go back and be sorted."
Two days later, the Kings XI Punjab skipper was once again on the receiving end but this time, the cricket laws stood against him.
In what is being termed as a silly mistake, Ashwin gave a crucial lifeline to Kolkata Knight Riders' previous match hero Andre Russell. Plans were devised to get the danger man out early after Robin Uthappa (67 off 50) and Nitish Rana (63 off 34) showed no mercy to the KXIP bowling attack.
Russell arrived at the scene and Ashwin put his trust in pacer Mohammed Shami, who bowled a perfect yorker to Jamaican, to send him packing in the 17th over. He was batting at 3 off 5.
KXIP's celebrations soon turned into horror after the on-field umpire Anil Chaudhary judged Shami's yorker a no-ball and followed it with a free hit gesture.
Punjab had only three fielders stationed inside the ring instead of four. Neither the captain (Ashwin) nor the bowler, or any other fielder, had noticed it.
Russell was back to his crease and used the opportunity to unleash all guns at the Eden Gardens. The Jamaican smoked Shami for three sixes and a boundary. His final score read 48 off 17.
So much so often depends on little things. Only 3 inside the circle, a top Yorker nullified and Russell unleashed — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 27, 2019
The damage had been done and Russell's fireworks helped KKR reach a hefty score of 218/4. KXIP did well in its response with half-centuries each from Mayank Agarwal and David Miller but Russell's lifeline played a key role in Kolkata Knight Riders' victory as the visiting team lost the chase by 28 runs. The elementary error on Ashwin's part didn't go unnoticed on Twitter and cricket fans blamed the spinner's "Karma" and "reminded" him of the cricket laws that eventually cost him an IPL match.
Ashwin this is what you call karma #IPL12 #KKRvsKXIP — Alexandra Hartley (@AlexHartley93) March 27, 2019
See Ashwin looking so frustrated after russel getting saved because of law of cricket. Karma hits back. #KKRvKXIP pic.twitter.com/DERDQHq20e — Gowthaman (@Gowthaman_Rockz) March 27, 2019
Hey Ashwin, never forget: Karma is a Bitch! #KKRvKXIP #IPL2019https://t.co/OhUSbIq67T — Rofl Republic (@i_theindian) March 27, 2019
Interviewer : Wat was the reason for today's loss ? Ashwin : I didn't get chance to Mankad Russell.#KKRvKXIP #KXIPvKKR — Kuptaan (@Kuptaan) March 27, 2019
So no ball (wrong field setting) did cost the match for Punjab, but it was Ashwin's fault not Shami's fault, because of Ashwin's poor captaincy @lionsdenkxip lost the match #KKRvKXIP — Amar Rana 🇮🇳 (@amar_tilakrana) March 27, 2019
1. How batsman sees Ashwin 2. How non-striker sees Ashwin pic.twitter.com/BQn19NwC84 — Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) March 27, 2019
This match is a perfect example of how captaincy can cost you a game. If Ashwin was bit more proactive to take 4 fielders inside the circle , things could have been a lot different for KXIP. Fielding lapse costed them the match. #KKRvKXIP — Siddharth Jha (@jha_siddhus91) March 27, 2019
The crucial mistake from Ashwin has to be the game-changing moment, Ashwin forgot his rulebook today, good that he took blame to himself. But that Shami's precise firey yorker was majestic #KKRvsKXIP #SaddaPunjab — amey guthe (@amey_guthe) March 27, 2019
Brain Fade moment for Ashwin! Russell stays even after being bowled!! Well Jos buttler sent you regards!! ' Karma Is a real Bitch' #KKRvKXIP #VIVOIPL — Ashutosh Naik (@ashunaik23) March 27, 2019
To his credit, Ashwin later took the blame on himself for the Russell reprieve.
"Look I mean we weren't focused on small things. Small things cost you in this game. We need to be attentive to the small things for the next game. I take the blame on myself (talking about the no-ball). I should have had a look at him (Varun Chakravarthy or Hardus Viljoen)," said Ashwin at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The official account of Indian Premier League shared the clip from the incident here.