Pietersen's switch-hitting

The shots that rang around the world

Some were mesmerised, some scandalised, some repulsed; ignoring KP's switch-hits was not an option, though

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 19, 2008

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Switched on: Pietersen goes over long-on, er long-off, at Chester-le-Street ©Getty Images
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"I covered my eyes as soon as he turned his body around. I was quite surprised and went 'Oh no', but he smashed it. In fact, he smashed it twice. He did actually come up the wicket and say, 'I was thinking about that in bed last night.' So at least we know the visualisation was there."
Paul Collingwood was there

"I just take my hat off to him and say 'nice shot'. All it's done is make me go back and change and get better and come up with a new tactic."
Scott Styris, the unfortunate bowler, takes it on the chin

"To even it up, bowlers should be able to bowl down both sides of the wide line. Then it brings your skill into play...

"It's one of those freakish things, and if it happens again it might go straight up in the air. It's a difficult shot, so we'd almost encourage it."
Daniel Vettori another bowler, and the opposing captain, sees both sides

"That's ridiculous. Absolutely stupid. The reverse sweep has been part of the game for however long. I am just fortunate that I am able to hit it a bit further."
Talk of the stroke being unfair did not please Kevin Pietersen

"Funnily enough, Chris Benham and I were practising KP's new shot in the nets a few days before he pulled it out of the bag.

"The right-hander's left-handed hit over long-on is the natural progression from a reverse-slogsweep."
Hampshire's Nic Pothas creates an intellectual property-rights issue

"Now that he has played that shot against Styris, I can finish off what I tried to say so many years ago. The argument is, if the batsman can change from being right-handed to left-handed, there shouldn't be a problem with a bowler changing from being right-handed to left-handed, either, without having to tell the umpire, nor should he have to tell the umpire if he is going over or round the wicket."
Michael Holding sums up the bowlers' predicament

"A bowler must advise a batsman when he's changing direction, why should the batsmen not; given that where the bowler's aiming will depend on the placement of the off stump."
Gideon Haigh seconds Holding

"It just should be outlawed straightaway. If you want to hit to one side of the field, you've got to do it in a cross fashion, and not swap the way you're facing or your grip. Otherwise you are going to start to allow the bowlers to go round the wicket, over the wicket, and keep swapping during their run-ups."
We know which side Ian Healy is on

"The lawmakers have to be mindful of innovation versus convention, potentially what is good and entertaining and what is prejudicial to the game... He has just set a standard at the moment that no one else has been prepared to try in a game. Others might have been prepared to practise it, but he has actually taken the next step, had the courage to take that risk."
John Buchanan respects innovation when he sees it

"As a cynical old bowler myself, I can see bowlers just stopping in their run-up. I am amazed that Styris didn't do that on Sunday, at least the second time. One way of doing it would be to get rid of the whole idea of leg side if the batsman switches his stance. So the bowler has a reasonable amount of latitude on wides on both sides of the wicket. And it doesn't matter where the ball pitches when you go up for lbw."
Dickie Bird is in the bowlers' corner too

"The truth of the matter is that there is a thing called flair in cricket... As far as I am concerned there has got to be a bit of flair in cricket. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned, is the way they should go."
Tony Greig is all for experimentation

"I wasn't working on that game. I was watching it on television and I nearly jumped out of my seat. I thought he was absolutely brilliant, and it was a stroke of genius."
The ever-excitable David Lloyd manages to get even more excited

"That was outrageous. I hope he tries it on me. I might have more chance of getting him out."
Shane Warne, KP's former Hampshire team-mate, seems to indicate that he may yet come out of retirement if this is the way cricket is headed

"If he [the batsman] is going to do that then you tell your bowler to bowl short into his ribs - and we have three leg slips and a gully [in case you have three slips and a gully to begin with]. If the batsmen is being so cute and clever, then I am going to say, 'Right, you are having a bit of Bodyline son'."
Nasser Hussain speaks with his Jardine cap on

"It incurs a great deal of risk for the batsman. It also offers bowlers a good chance of taking a wicket and therefore MCC believes that the shot is fair to both batsman and bowlers."
The MCC, after much deliberation, rules in favour of Pietersen

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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