Ravichandran Ashwin gears up at the first practice session of Delhi Capitals at the ICC Academy on Saturday. Image Credit: Delhi Capitals

Dubai: Ravichandran Ashwin, the senior Indian spinner who polarised the entire cricketing world during the Indian Premier League last year when he ‘Mankaded’ Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler, found a strong backer in Parth Jindal, the co-owner and chairman of Delhi Capitals. Ashwin, who captained Kings XI Punjab last season, will be turning out for the Delhi franchise in the upcoming IPL in the UAE.

‘‘It will not be right for me to comment on it as a lot has been said already. However, rules are rules and every batsman should follow them. What Ashwin did on that occasion took a lot of courage, frankly I don’t know whether I would have done the same,’’ Jindal told Boria Majumdar in an exclusive video interview ‘Free Hit’ for Gulfnews.com, the first of a series to be done during the build-up to the league as well as during the season.

Ashwin had, on that occasion, faced a lot of flak when he stopped on his tracks during his bowling run-up to run out Buttler who was caught out of his crease to run for the single. Named after legendary Indian allrounder Vinoo Mankad, ‘Mankading’ is a method of run out where a bowler dismisses a non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease.

Arguing his case that even an advantage of few inches can make a difference, Jindal said: ‘‘If you remember Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s dismissal in the World Cup semi-finals, he was run out just by inches. If he wasn’t, India would have possibly made it to the finals.’’

In the interview, Jindal candidly admitted about how they would be missing out on Sourav Ganguly or ‘Dada,’ who was their mentor last year but had relinquish the post after taking over as the President of Indian cricket board, how they managed to turn a corner to start winning their fans over at the Feroze Shah Kotla and the huge aspirations of the team after making it to play-offs last year.