Watch: R Ashwin warns Shikhar Dhawan during RR vs PBKS IPL 2023 match

By Swarnali Saha
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Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wasted no time in issuing a first and final warning to Shikhar Dhawan after the senior batter was backing up too far during the action-packed Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Wednesday. Runners-up in the 2022 edition of the cash-rich league, former champions Rajasthan Royals were aiming to record their second win of the new season when Sanju Samson's men locked horns with Punjab in match No.8 of the IPL 2023 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.

Brough into the attack by skipper Samson in the seventh over, star spinner Ashwin gave a formal warning to Dhawan after opting not to run out the in-form batter at the non-striker's end. The street-smart spinner then gave Dhawan an intense stare before the cameraman put the spotlight on RR superstar Jos Buttler. For the unversed, Ashwin had famously run-out Buttler for backing up too far in IPL 2019. Buttler's stunning dismissal had sparked RR's collapse at the time. Ashwin had also reignited the spirit-of-cricket debate by running out Buttler in the cash-rich league.

Ashwin, who believes that non-striker leaving the crease early is the actual unfair play, had earlier opined that the decision to not run out batters at the bowler's end can lead to a career-destroying impact. Talking about the match, Ashwin bowled 4 overs and bagged the wicket of Sikandar Raza while PBKS skipper Dhawan smashed a gritty half-century against RR at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.

Dhawan completed 600 runs against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL before the Indian southpaw registered his first half-century of the new season. The former Delhi Capitals (DC) opener is the fifth batter to achieve the special feat against the 2008 champions in the elite T20 tournament. The 37-year-old batter also scripted history with his stellar knock against the Ashwin-starrer RR side. Punjab skipper Dhawan is the second Indian batter to register 50 fifty-plus scores in the world's richest T20 league.


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