Senior Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has often been subjected to unfair criticism for running out batters at non-striker's end for backing too far, has backed Alex Carey's decision to run out a wandering Jonny Bairstow on the final day of the second Ashes Test. Australia took a 2-0 lead after winning the second Test at Lord's by 43 runs. However, there was some controversy when Bairstow (10), along with skipper Ben Stokes (155), was about to forge a partnership, ducked a slow bouncer from Cameron Green and ventured out of the crease, thinking that the ball was already 'dead'.
Ashwin's Loud and Clear take
However, Carey played within the rules and broke the stumps and third umpire Marais Erasmus adjudged it stumped in favour of Australia.
A dazed Bairstow walked back, but an unhappy England captain after the game didn't appreciate the Australian tactic, as he felt that they clearly knew Bairstow hadn't ventured out in pursuit of trying to steal a run.
"Would I want to win a game in that manner? I think the answer for me is no," Stokes told BBC Test Match Special after the game.
In fact, the cheeky Stuart Broad, next-man in after Bairstow, didn't let Carey go without letting him know his feelings.
"That's all you will ever be remembered for," the stump mic caught Broad expressing his displeasure to Carey.
However, Ravichandran Ashwin, who has always been lectured on the spirit of cricket, lauded Carey for showing adequate cricketing smarts.
"We must get one fact loud and clear. The keeper would never have a dip at the stumps from that far out in a test match unless he or his team have noticed a pattern of the batter leaving his crease after leaving a ball like Bairstow did. We must applaud the game smarts of the individual rather than skewing it towards unfair play or spirit of the game," Ashwin tweeted.
As per ICC Playing Conditions, rule 20.1.2, Carey was well within his rights to break the stumps.
The rule 20.1.2 states: "The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler's end umpire that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play."