Ravichandran Ashwin may well have started a trend in the Indian Premier League with his 'Mankad' dismissal of Jos Buttler when Kings XI Punjab met Rajasthan Royals on March 25 as Krunal Pandya tried to similarly send MS Dhoni back to the pavilion when Mumbai Indians met Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on April 3.
The incident happened in the 14th over of CSK's run chase and Krunal was bowling to Kedar Jadhav with the CSK captain at the non-striker's end. Pandya was into his delivery stride when Dhoni was taking a start and moving along with the bowler towards the striker's end. Instead of delivering the fifth ball of the over, the left-arm orthodox bowler simply completed his run up and rolled his arm over. He subsequently stared at the batsman but did not look at Dhoni.
"Surely we won't see this [Mankading] in IPL," exclaimed Mathew Hayden on commentary as he noticed Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock sporting a wry smile. It must be noted that at no point did Dhoni's bat leave the crease and even if Krunal had intended to knock the bails off, Dhoni would not be dismissed. "Yeah, right instincts for Dhoni – bat was inside, ball wasn't seen. You know he does most things right. Just out of instincts with Dhoni, very rarely will you seem him do something that is incorrect," commented Sanjay Manjrekar on air.
There was no reference to this incident later on either but Dhoni spoke about where his team went wrong as CSK suffered their first defeat of the 2019 campaign of the IPL. "I think quite a few things went wrong for us. We started well, were right on the mark for the first 10-12 overs. Then, a few catches were dropped, a few misfields, the death overs bowling wasn't great. We don't have bowlers who hit the deck, it was slightly tough on them," he remarked.
CSK had started very well and was on top in the match till the 14th over of Mumbai's batting as the home side had scored only 82 runs. But Krunal's younger brother Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard spoiled CSK's party at the death as they plundered 88 runs in the last six overs including a mammoth 29-run last over.
The last over was bowled by Dwayne Bravo who has since suffered a hamstring injury to rub salt into his and his team's wounds. "We will have to see the wicket for the next game, we have to see the combination. Bravo has an hamstring injury, we don't have a few players, we already have some injuries, David Willey isn't there, he has his own problems, Lungi Ngidi isn't with us as well, we will have to look at the pitch and then decide on the right combination," Dhoni said after the match.
CSK will head home to the MA Chidambaram Stadium next to face Ashwin's KXIP on April 6.