R Ashwin hints displeasure at Rohit's withdrawal of appeal for Shami run-out of Shanaka
Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed his disappointment at India's decision to withdraw their appeal for a non-striker's end run-out during the first ODI of the three-match series against Sri Lanka.
Ashwin hinted displeasure at skipper Rohit Sharma's move to give his Lankan counterpart Dasun Shanaka a reprieve even as bowler Mohammad Shami caught him outside the popping crease.
The incident took place during the 50th over of the Sri Lankan run-chase. Running into bowl, Shami suddenly unveiled a bail dislodger at the other end, leading umpire Nitin Menon to send the matter upstairs. However, following a brief discussion, Rohit and Shami decided to withdraw their appeal.
Rohit later explained the rationale behind his decision, highlighting Shanaka was on 98* at the time and they didn't want him to miss out on his century in this fashion after batting so well, especially as the game was already in India's bag.
The explanation got Rohit praise from most of the Sri Lankan cricket community but Indian fans criticised their captain for indirectly discrediting the good work done by Ashwin, and Indian women's allrounder Deepti Sharma, in this regard, having been involved in famous run-outs at the other end.
Ashwin disappointed with Rohit for Shami withdrawal
Speaking on his YouTube channel, R Ashwin said the idea of keeping the right to withdraw the appeal should lie with the bowler instead of the captain, as in this case, clearly, even if for a brief moment, Shami wanted Shanaka to be out and it was Rohit who urged him to cut down the appeal formally before he agreed.
"See, even if one fielder appeals, it is the duty of the umpire to declare a player out if he is out. So, I find it very surprising to have so many taboos surrounding this mode of dismissal. But the entire dismissal is regarding what bowler does, right?" Ashwin said.
"The right of making that dismissal or making that appeal or making that decision lies with the bowler, right?"
Ashwin argued that if a captain never asks for the batter to comeback and resume his innings in case he happens to walk upon edging the ball to the wicketkeeper, why shall he withdraw his appeal for this mode of dismissal?
"In so many games, a batter has nicked and walked without waiting for the umpire's decision," Ashwin said. "At that time, the batting team captain won't come and ask, "With whose permission did you walk like that? Did you forget the team's cause? Go back and continue playing. These different treatments for bowlers and batters have been taking place for so many years now."
Rohit partly defended his move to give Shanaka the reprieve was the game situation and that the game had already been won, with India not really set to gain much by dismissing Shanaka at that stage. But Ashwin said time is an "immaterial" factor in this disregard and captains shouldn't feel wary of dismissing the guilty batter regardless of the situation.
"I am going to keep repeating only thing. The game situation is immaterial. That is a legitimate form of dismissal," Ashwin said. "And in fact, if you ask for an LBW appeal, or caught behind appeal, nobody will check with the captain on whether they are sure with the appeal. They will give him out if the bowler appeals and that is the end of it."