Sunil Gavaskar believes Rishabh Pant could have stepped in and defused the verbal spat between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan during the DC-KKR IPL 2021 fixture in Sharjah last week. Gavaskar backed Ashwin, who he felt may not have even seen the ball hitting Pant before taking off for a run.
During the match between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah last week, Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morganwere involved in a verbal spat after the former was dismissed by Tim Southee in the last over of the first innings.
The issue erupted after Ashwin had taken an extra run after the ball ricocheted off DC captain Rishabh Pant’s body on the last ball of the 19th over. Later in the match, Ashwin dismissed Morgan and gave a fiery send-off to the KKR captain.
Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar has backed Ashwin, who already made his stance clear on Twitter after the game, and stated that Rishabh Pant could have defused the situation. He further added that the off-spinner may not have even seen the ball hitting his skipper before taking off for the run, and added that Pant should have avoided the run.
"But why blame Ashwin? He may not have even seen the ball hitting his skipper as he would be intent on getting to his end and may have only seen the ball that was away from a fielder and so responded for the extra run. Pant could have stepped in and defused the situation, but in the intensity of the battle and especially in the hot and humid desert atmosphere, it is extremely tough to keep a cool head, so he may have not realised what had happened," Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.
"What nobody asked is, why did Pant run? He was the one who was struck by the ball and if at all anybody should have known that the tradition is not to take the run after the ball is deflected, then it was the Delhi skipper. Maybe, in the heat of the battle and the anxiety to add runs to the team’s total, he took that extra run," explained Gavaskar.
The Delhi Capitals have already qualified for the playoffs, whereas the Eoin Morgan-led side are still in the race, needing to win their final league game against the Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on Thursday, October 7.