Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day April 5, 2012

Switch is a hit

A simple change to the lbw law would encourage a stroke that makes spectators gasp in wonder
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Pity the umpire in the split second before the switch hit. ICC's directive picks the moment that a bowler's back foot lands as the start of the delivery. From this point the batsman can do as he pleases with hands and feet but not before. Three times Kevin Pietersen made to switch and three times Tillakaratne Dilshan pulled away from releasing his offbreak. On the third occasion Asad Rauf warned Pietersen for time wasting.

Incredible really. International teams bowl their overs at 13 an hour and no one blinks an eye while the most thrilling batsman makes to switch hit and finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Not Rauf's fault, he is the messenger and one with a lot on his plate. Rauf could not possibly have been sure of exactly the moment when Pietersen changed his stance because he was watching Dilshan's back foot. Er, or was he watching Dilshan's front foot, lest he no ball? Hmm, or was he watching the return crease, lest he no ball there? Or was he intent on the striker's end of the wicket, the business end, with the popping crease in his peripheral? Or was he briefly somewhere else? Long days out there in the Colombo sun.

David Warner's switch hit six over mid-off - or is it mid-on?- in a T20I against India earlier this year rang the bells once more. Now Pietersen has them clanging like Notre Dame. The switch hit is different from the reverse hit because the batsman swaps his hands on the bat and rotates his body 180 degrees, to become a left-hander in Pietersen's case. Generally, the stroke is a plus for a game that is not completely sure how to embrace the 21st century. When it is played successfully spectators, quite literally, gasp in wonder. They talk about it, most love it. We don't see it often because it is difficult, showy and takes big cojones. It's right up Pietersen's street, and Warner's. Less so say Andrew Strauss or Rahul Dravid. But they wouldn't want to stand in the way of progress.

There are two things to consider here. Cricket's lifeline is the balance between bat and ball. Given the bowler must commit to releasing the ball from one side of the wicket and with a part of his foot behind the popping crease, the batsman who is not so shackled must give something away if he wishes to change striking position. This should be leg stump.

As the law stands, a batsman should not be given out lbw if the ball pitches outside leg stump. A simple change to that law, effectively taking the leg-stump advantage away from the batsman would even it up. Thus, if you choose to switch hit you forego your leg stump and can be lbw if you are hit between wicket and wicket either way round.

The second thing is the ICC directive mentioned above. Once the bowler is at the point of delivery there is little he can do in response to the batsman's move. The directive should be that the batsman may do as he pleases from the start of the bowlers' approach to the crease. This way the bowler has a better chance to respond and should not feel that pulling way is his only defence. Were the lbw law changed, the bowler would have an aggressive option and may even see the batsman's change of stance as an opportunity to take his wicket.

From this more evenly balanced reaction to the switch hit would come the conclusion that it is the bowler who is timewasting by refusing to deliver. Not the batsman, who is bringing to the game his sense of imagination and adventure.

Former Hampshire batsman Mark Nicholas is the host of Channel 9's cricket coverage

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on April 7, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael - I agree with you... so why didn't Tendulkar try the switch hit instead of finally being "bored out" by Giles? That's the exact reason why Pietersen's switch hit is such a brilliant innovation. You won't find a single English player criticizing any batsmen who plays the shot against them. It brings additional excitement into the game and helps to break negative field settings from whichever team - including England!

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 6, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @roarster: "the negative legside line employed by Dilshan ... the stalemate this grinding tactic engenders". Sounds a lot like the tactics formerly employed around the world by England sides when Ashley Giles was England's idea of a good spin bowler. Now circumstances are so different you start to see how irritatingly negative that was.

  • Rexton87 on April 6, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    If this has been done by an Indian Sri Lankan or Pak batsman then whole media including Mark Nicholas would be labelling this unfair outrageous and even cheating, but becuase It was KP so they are all full of praises. Infact this swithc hit is ugly and disgraceful to look at similar to reverse sweep which gains some surprise runs for the batsmen are equally ugly and both should be banned.

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on April 6, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @zenboomerang - you've got to be kidding! What chance has a batsman got to change his grip and jump around 180 degrees after the bowler's front foot has landed?! You might as well outlaw the switch hit completely, thus taking away one of the most exciting innovations of the game in recent years, along with the Dilscoop. Mark Nicholas has it bang on - and I actually thought that was indeed the law, as amended by the MCC when the switch hit was first seen. Take away the leg stump rule protection for when a batsman switches his stance - that's all that's needed. As KP himself states, the risk is all with the batsman, as he's hardly in a settled position as the ball is being bowled. If that weren't the case, why isn't every batsman doing it? The only issue could be if a batsman switched stance at say the beginning of a fast bowler's run up - perhaps the law should state that he can't do it until the bowler is at least level with the umpire and therefore in his line of sight.

  • magic_torch_jamie on April 6, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Let's make the usual whinge then. Every new thing that is legislated is in favour of the batsman. Whenever there's a bit of doubt we always go with the bat as it's more entertaining. Yes, it is distracting to see someone change their stance as you run in and why should you then have to say if you're changing to over/round the wicket, right/left-handed? KP is not unreasonable to feel it's a way of breaking a 7-2 field stranglehold but the bowler then needs more in his armoury such as it not mattering where the ball pitches for an lbw. The other problem here is if the stance is changed right at the critical point it's yet another thing for the umpire to have to police. But just as a batsman should be able to ask for no distracting movement for concentration, so should the bowler.

  • roarster on April 6, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    It's worth bearing in mind that KP resorted to his cack handed party piece only to counter the negative legside line employed by Dilshan. Anything that breaks the stalemate this grinding tactic engenders has to be a good thing. And, lest we forget, it's not an easy thing to do, the co-ordination and timing required to get this shot right make it an extraordinary skill, one to be marvelled at not poo-pooed or discouraged by opaque rulings.

  • on April 6, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    We need creativity. Now is the time for a clever young soul to develop the art of spin with his right hand and a fast delivery from his left. (In school I could bowl a fairly fast delivery off a short run) The bowler runs in at and at the last moment picks which hand to bowl from. Doesn't need to change from over or around the wicket, just which hand. There are many people equally comfortable with either hand. Not just the speed but imagine the batsmen working out the angles. I see this most effictive from left handers around the wicket. You are all going to say crazy but maybe one day!!!

  • Stouffer on April 6, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    This whole idea of changing stance seems odd. How about someone like Chanderpaul who stands with a very open stance, then changes it for the delivery. Is this allowed? What if the batsman decides to walk down the pitch to hit before the ball is bowled? If I was bowling then I would send down a quicker, straight yorker. The bowler will have ample time to see what the batsman is planning, and can change accordingly.

  • RandyOZ on April 6, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    Of course Mark Nicolas would come to KPs rescue. Anyone would think he is in love with KP! Mark's solution is an absolutely terrible one, and gives all the advantage to the batsmen. There is no advantage for the bowler despite him saying there is. I guess that this lack of knowledge is exactly why he never played a test for the United XI.

  • zenboomerang on April 6, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    A simple solution that would make it easier for the umpires, bowlers & maybe batsmen is just to change the law of when a batsman can reverse his bat grip - change it to when the bowlers front foot comes down... The front foot comes down at nearly the same time as the ball is released & the umpire is starting to look down the pitch... With bowler & batters hands in their natural positions at the release of the ball, what happens after is just up to the batsman... This doesn't stop the batsman charging the bowler or moving backwards, though playing the switch hit would be riskier...

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on April 7, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael - I agree with you... so why didn't Tendulkar try the switch hit instead of finally being "bored out" by Giles? That's the exact reason why Pietersen's switch hit is such a brilliant innovation. You won't find a single English player criticizing any batsmen who plays the shot against them. It brings additional excitement into the game and helps to break negative field settings from whichever team - including England!

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 6, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @roarster: "the negative legside line employed by Dilshan ... the stalemate this grinding tactic engenders". Sounds a lot like the tactics formerly employed around the world by England sides when Ashley Giles was England's idea of a good spin bowler. Now circumstances are so different you start to see how irritatingly negative that was.

  • Rexton87 on April 6, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    If this has been done by an Indian Sri Lankan or Pak batsman then whole media including Mark Nicholas would be labelling this unfair outrageous and even cheating, but becuase It was KP so they are all full of praises. Infact this swithc hit is ugly and disgraceful to look at similar to reverse sweep which gains some surprise runs for the batsmen are equally ugly and both should be banned.

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on April 6, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @zenboomerang - you've got to be kidding! What chance has a batsman got to change his grip and jump around 180 degrees after the bowler's front foot has landed?! You might as well outlaw the switch hit completely, thus taking away one of the most exciting innovations of the game in recent years, along with the Dilscoop. Mark Nicholas has it bang on - and I actually thought that was indeed the law, as amended by the MCC when the switch hit was first seen. Take away the leg stump rule protection for when a batsman switches his stance - that's all that's needed. As KP himself states, the risk is all with the batsman, as he's hardly in a settled position as the ball is being bowled. If that weren't the case, why isn't every batsman doing it? The only issue could be if a batsman switched stance at say the beginning of a fast bowler's run up - perhaps the law should state that he can't do it until the bowler is at least level with the umpire and therefore in his line of sight.

  • magic_torch_jamie on April 6, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Let's make the usual whinge then. Every new thing that is legislated is in favour of the batsman. Whenever there's a bit of doubt we always go with the bat as it's more entertaining. Yes, it is distracting to see someone change their stance as you run in and why should you then have to say if you're changing to over/round the wicket, right/left-handed? KP is not unreasonable to feel it's a way of breaking a 7-2 field stranglehold but the bowler then needs more in his armoury such as it not mattering where the ball pitches for an lbw. The other problem here is if the stance is changed right at the critical point it's yet another thing for the umpire to have to police. But just as a batsman should be able to ask for no distracting movement for concentration, so should the bowler.

  • roarster on April 6, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    It's worth bearing in mind that KP resorted to his cack handed party piece only to counter the negative legside line employed by Dilshan. Anything that breaks the stalemate this grinding tactic engenders has to be a good thing. And, lest we forget, it's not an easy thing to do, the co-ordination and timing required to get this shot right make it an extraordinary skill, one to be marvelled at not poo-pooed or discouraged by opaque rulings.

  • on April 6, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    We need creativity. Now is the time for a clever young soul to develop the art of spin with his right hand and a fast delivery from his left. (In school I could bowl a fairly fast delivery off a short run) The bowler runs in at and at the last moment picks which hand to bowl from. Doesn't need to change from over or around the wicket, just which hand. There are many people equally comfortable with either hand. Not just the speed but imagine the batsmen working out the angles. I see this most effictive from left handers around the wicket. You are all going to say crazy but maybe one day!!!

  • Stouffer on April 6, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    This whole idea of changing stance seems odd. How about someone like Chanderpaul who stands with a very open stance, then changes it for the delivery. Is this allowed? What if the batsman decides to walk down the pitch to hit before the ball is bowled? If I was bowling then I would send down a quicker, straight yorker. The bowler will have ample time to see what the batsman is planning, and can change accordingly.

  • RandyOZ on April 6, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    Of course Mark Nicolas would come to KPs rescue. Anyone would think he is in love with KP! Mark's solution is an absolutely terrible one, and gives all the advantage to the batsmen. There is no advantage for the bowler despite him saying there is. I guess that this lack of knowledge is exactly why he never played a test for the United XI.

  • zenboomerang on April 6, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    A simple solution that would make it easier for the umpires, bowlers & maybe batsmen is just to change the law of when a batsman can reverse his bat grip - change it to when the bowlers front foot comes down... The front foot comes down at nearly the same time as the ball is released & the umpire is starting to look down the pitch... With bowler & batters hands in their natural positions at the release of the ball, what happens after is just up to the batsman... This doesn't stop the batsman charging the bowler or moving backwards, though playing the switch hit would be riskier...

  • zenboomerang on April 6, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    @Mark Nicholas... Your article has been debated ad nauseum for years & doesn't add anything new... If anything it lacks details like the "wide" ruling among others... Allowing the switch hit earlier only advantages the batter with little recall for average (part time) bowlers... My solution above seems a better, fairer & easier to administer idea for all involved...

  • on April 6, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    Mark makes some Excellent points.

  • on April 6, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    How about some advantage to the fielders, allow them to scurry about and change fielding positions when the bowler is in his run up.

  • Lateralis on April 6, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    @Meyer_Lanski Mark Nicholas is quite obviously suggesting the LBE leg stump rule be removed if the batsmen attempts the switch hit. He is not advocating the total removal of the leg stump rule lest he desires a return to Bodyline, which I do not believe he does. In fact, this suggestion of the batsmen forfeiting their leg stump LBW rule should they decide to switch hit is a simple and elegant solution which at first glance I cannot see anything wrong with. I cannot so whole heatedly agree with the batsmen being allowed to switch stance as soon as the bowler begins their run up. Perhaps a compromise; the batsmen is allowed to switch stance as soon as the bowler is past the umpire?

  • squidhead on April 6, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    Too sensible, Mark. It'll never happen.

  • srikanth121 on April 5, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Srilanka had 7 men on the leg side and dilshan was bowling on a leg stump line. Its not only a defensive field but also incredibly boring for a spectator to watch a batsman padding away every single ball. Cant blame Mahela for setting this field, KP was blazing away then and he needed to slow the scoring rate down. I cannot understand how the ICC has a problem with this shot though. Clearly its incredibly difficult to pull off this shot and if he does, this leg stump line is not a viable option anymore for an opposition captain and only makes the game more interesting. And for all the people counter arguing over whether a bowler can switch hands before delivering the ball, i would like to see them try.

  • skrishn9 on April 5, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Valid point, Mark. One that i have always been in favour of ( as though i am worthy enough of anyone's attention) The other rule that needs a tweak along with LBW for switch hits is how a wide is given when a batsman makes a switch hit. The player that makes a switch should incur the risk of making an otherwise wide ball legitimate - i.e, the delivery is legitimate from the off-side wide marker of a right hand batsman to that of a left hand batsman.

    Would be glad to hear back. Thanks for the space.

  • ADXI on April 5, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    completely agree with writer...remove "the batsman cannot be given out lbw if the ball piches outside leg stump" rule

  • Jabulani on April 5, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    @Vinay Kolhatkar - if you search Pietersen and Murali on youtube you can find a video of Pietersen switch hitting Murali for six...so bang goes your theory!

  • InnocentGuy on April 5, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    The bowler should be allowed to bowl from over or around the wicket and with right or left hand, without notifying it prior to the run-up. The non-striker has to stand really wide off the wicket. That would be wicked! The bowler comes running up behind the umpire, where the batsmen cannot see him. Suddenly, the bowler emerges on one side and he can be left or right handed!!

  • Trickstar on April 5, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    @Vinay Kolhatkar Surely this is said in jest because yes KP would switch hit Murali and has done on a a number of occasions which you can see said switch hit on that well known video site utube.

  • attilathecricketer on April 5, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    I'm a bowler and I don't want our job made harder. However, I would go with allowing switch hits if lbw and wide rules changed and bowler allowed to switch hands. Changing the run up rule is OK as long as batsmen are not allowed to back out with same frequency that they do at moment.

  • Rahulbose on April 5, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    ICC rules are just so complicated. Why not allow both the batsman and the bowler to switch hands? It would be a great innovation if spinners or seamers can switch hands to bowl with the wrong arm, switching in the middle of final delivery stride. I would bet that will lead to some batting collapses.

  • Meyer_Lanski on April 5, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Although the rule altercation certain makes sense, you also have to consider what it would do to other facets of the LBW law.

    By taking away the "batsman can't be out LBW once the ball pitches outside leg-stump" law - when a fast-bowler or spinner bowls traps a batsman on the pad after he plays a standard shot (not a switch it) - you would get A LOT more LBWs in the game which is not really ideal.

    As you said Mr Nicholas, it an innovative shot. Only Pietersen and Warner can do it effectively, just like how Dilshan and McCullum are two of the few batsman who can play the "scoop shot" effectively in world cricket.

    So essentially its not a shot the the large majority of international batsmen can do without embarrassing themselves/getting out. Thus umpires and bowlers just need to move on

  • on April 5, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    If Murali was bowling, would KP dare to switch-hit? Dilshan is a great fielder and a good batsman but he is not a test class bowler. Batsmen should be allowed to change grip and unsettle bowlers. A Warne or a Murali would have got him out. Bring it on!!

  • PanGlupek on April 5, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Don't always agree with Mark Nicholas, but on this one, I do. Firstly, if Sri-Lanka didn't have 7 men on the leg-side, he probably wouldn't have looked to play the shot in the first place. Secondly if you see him shaping up before you're in your stride, you can just bowl way outside off stump & he probably won't get bat on it (Dilshan presumably didn't do that, because all his fielders were on the leg-side, because he was obviously planning to bowl negatively). Thirdly, why accuse a batsman of timewasting for playing positively & aggressively when you see things like faking injuries, playing for bad light, fresh gloves every 2 overs & bowling outside leg stump to a packed legside field go unpunished?

  • kabe_ag7 on April 5, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    I agree with Mark. The rule for wide in case of a batsman attempting switch hit should similarly be changed so that the margin of wide ball on both sides is made same as the margin on the off-side.

  • on April 5, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    100% simple and effective solution. Also make the wide rule less stringent on the leg side wide. Same width on both on and off in case the batsman switches. No strict interpretation of leg side wide.

  • on April 5, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    I would also suggest Mark that the wide rule should also revert to the off stump

    I think the rule is there because the bowler has to nominate a hand why doesnt the batsman

    Reverse sweeps are different (even though most reverse sweeps are actually pull strokes) because the hands arent moved which technically makes them the same hand its when you change your grip on the approach

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    the rule change is interesting... not just for lbw but allow some freedom for wides and so forth... I agree with Boycott and Aggers on this... not many batsmen would be happy if the bowler comes round the undeclared side of the wicket to deliver the ball... and considering that it is the bowler who is exhausting energy to do so everytime he runs up (and a batsmen pulls out cos of a sea gull)... the bowlers should have some leniency... with regards to time waisting, I still haven't met anyone who's complained about the number of overs teams have bowled (or not bowled) within an hour...

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    @mark: it's the right solution... in fact, the leg-side wide rule should also go completely out of the window... i get the feeling tht the cojones of the warners and the pietersons would also do a disappearing act once ths is done....

  • SPS1 on April 5, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    In a game and with pitches these days loaded in favor of batsmen, bowlers deserve some latitude. If we go with your suggestion, then what about the wide ball rule? If the batsman switch hits, then anything going down the batsman's leg stump in the original stance would be called a wide? Also need to reevaluate the rule not only for switch hits, but paddle sweeps and Dilscoops - where batsmen move to the off side just before the ball is delivered and tickle / scoop the ball to fine leg. Fielding side is allowed only 2 players behind the stumps on the leg side - while that rule was put in place to react to Bodyline bouncer tactics, in the days of helmets and all kinds of protective body gear, I think that rule needs to be re-evaluated - allow 3 fields behind the stumps on the leg side - allowing fast bowlers and off spinners some more advantage.

  • omeirzahid on April 5, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Quite a pity that the bowlers cant change their hand. Consider the "imagination and adventure" it would bring to the game. On a serious note - England and Australian cricket has already destroyed one day by having two new balls from each end (to suit their swing bowlers) and depriving the game of reverse swing and spinners web (similarly remember 20 years ago capping bouncers) and now again another one for the batsmen. dont teach us imagination and adventure - the batsman should not be able to change his grip - if he has to, then they should tell the umpire, just like a bowler is supposed to.

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Oh come on. Classic bias. "Incredible really. International teams bowl their overs at 13 an hour and no one blinks an eye while the most thrilling batsman makes to switch hit and finds himself on the wrong side of the law". Firstly, being a "thrilling batsman" doesn't give you extra priveleges as you seem to imply. Secondly, he's not that thrilling a batsmen really. And thirdly, a bowler can't switch hands, so nor should a batsman. It's quite simple.

  • khurramsch on April 5, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    about todays event i think umpire was right as the law says so. And about sugestions yes agree that batsman should do before bowler in delivery strde & also LBW law must be change for switch hit.

  • StatisticsRocks on April 5, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    I dont know why it is such a big deal. If a bowler can bowl at batsman's throat why can't the batsmen switch hit. If the batsmen gets out in the process, I am sure we would not even have seen this article on crickinfo. So the batsmen is getting creative...live with it. If the bowler is smart enough he will recognize well in advance the intentions of the batsmen and alter his line and length.

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Excellent article............

  • drnaveed on April 5, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    well , as it was done by the england player,so mr andy flower didn't go to the 3rd umpires room,straight away when the switch hit was done for the first time today,however, he could not resist himself from going into the officials room once again, during the course of the match,when the first official warning was given to kp . andy flower, i think ,doesn't know the basics of cricket thats why , i assume, he goes upstairs that frequent. england always cry ,when we(pak) did reverse swing and defeated them in the 1992 series, it was called ball tempering, and when their own players started doing reverse swing, it than became an art.

  • wrenx on April 5, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    Easy to agree with this article, but something needs to said of leg-side wides, which Umpires seem thrilled to give in the one-day game. Surely, if you switch-hit, you should relinquish your right to have a ball down the leg side given as a wide. Instead, umpires should use the guidelines - too far on either side and it can be wide, marginally past the stumps, and it's a legal delivery.

  • chilled_avenger on April 5, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    We can have Batting Power-plays,Bowling Power-plays(which ironically do not help the bowlers at all), Benefit-of-doubt in favor of Batsman and countless other rules/laws benefiting the Batsman and no one bats an eyelash! But KP(or anyone else for that matter) doing a Switch-hit becomes very unfair to the bowlers? Switch-hit is not a

  • samincolumbia on April 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Just as we expected, the english writers wants ICC to change the laws to suit their players...just as they forced ICC to introduce the bouncer rule because their players could not handle the pace of WI bowlers!!

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    double standards here mark then bowlers should be allowed to bowl more bouncers in the over the ball should not be a wide if its in the left side of the right handed batsman... yeah is interesting to watch but then... it should be fair for every one... bowlers should be able to bowl from both the hands... maybe even it out...

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Switch-Hit is more likely be played on a regular basis in One-dayers and T 20s even though Petersen has played this now in a Test. The Wide rules in one-dayers and T 20s are so strict anything that is marginally down the leg side is called Wide. If a right hander tries to switch hit and (thus becomes effectively a left hander), misses the ball completely, should the bowel penalized for a wide? If is NOT given wide, then it is justified. Also, batsman foregoing his leg stump, and thus getting adjudged LBW to a ball that is pitched outside his leg stump(after he changed stance) must be enforced if the batsmen are allowed to change the stance and hit the way they want.

  • Green_and_Gold on April 5, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Hmmmm - interesting view. Tend to agree with the leg stump being taken out if there is a switch hit however not sure about the movement being allowed earlier.

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    that leg stump bit, absolutely perfect idea!

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I don't agree totally with the author's point of view which favors batsmen. If this shot brings innovation, then they should allow bowler to innovate as well to switch hands without informing the batsmen/umpire which will make this a fair play..Otherwise the switching hands rule however vague it is, is better than not having any giving more advantage to the batsmen.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 5, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    In that case Mark, should the bowler not tell the batsman if hes going to use bowl a doosra, or an Arm ball, an offcutter, leg cutter, full toss or a slower ball. Its swings and roundabouts.....At the moment in the laws of the game the MCC (circa 2008) have been quite clear there is nothing illegal with the switch hit, for the very reasons above, only the ICC are muddying the waters, it has been deamed legal for 4 YEARS, now all of a sudden becuase more than one batsman can employ it (not one from the sub con though), is it deemed an issue.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 5, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Pieterson invented the Switch Hit. Invented It. So how many other players can you name that have invented a shot that is that unorthodox? There aren't any. Dhoni's 'helicopter' shot, for example, is just another way of whipping the ball through leg. Can anyone name anyone else that's Invented a cricket shot like Pieterson's Switch Hit?

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Great article with a common sense solution!! Thats why the ICC will never implement it!!!

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  • on April 5, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Great article with a common sense solution!! Thats why the ICC will never implement it!!!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 5, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Pieterson invented the Switch Hit. Invented It. So how many other players can you name that have invented a shot that is that unorthodox? There aren't any. Dhoni's 'helicopter' shot, for example, is just another way of whipping the ball through leg. Can anyone name anyone else that's Invented a cricket shot like Pieterson's Switch Hit?

  • YorkshirePudding on April 5, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    In that case Mark, should the bowler not tell the batsman if hes going to use bowl a doosra, or an Arm ball, an offcutter, leg cutter, full toss or a slower ball. Its swings and roundabouts.....At the moment in the laws of the game the MCC (circa 2008) have been quite clear there is nothing illegal with the switch hit, for the very reasons above, only the ICC are muddying the waters, it has been deamed legal for 4 YEARS, now all of a sudden becuase more than one batsman can employ it (not one from the sub con though), is it deemed an issue.

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I don't agree totally with the author's point of view which favors batsmen. If this shot brings innovation, then they should allow bowler to innovate as well to switch hands without informing the batsmen/umpire which will make this a fair play..Otherwise the switching hands rule however vague it is, is better than not having any giving more advantage to the batsmen.

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    that leg stump bit, absolutely perfect idea!

  • Green_and_Gold on April 5, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Hmmmm - interesting view. Tend to agree with the leg stump being taken out if there is a switch hit however not sure about the movement being allowed earlier.

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Switch-Hit is more likely be played on a regular basis in One-dayers and T 20s even though Petersen has played this now in a Test. The Wide rules in one-dayers and T 20s are so strict anything that is marginally down the leg side is called Wide. If a right hander tries to switch hit and (thus becomes effectively a left hander), misses the ball completely, should the bowel penalized for a wide? If is NOT given wide, then it is justified. Also, batsman foregoing his leg stump, and thus getting adjudged LBW to a ball that is pitched outside his leg stump(after he changed stance) must be enforced if the batsmen are allowed to change the stance and hit the way they want.

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    double standards here mark then bowlers should be allowed to bowl more bouncers in the over the ball should not be a wide if its in the left side of the right handed batsman... yeah is interesting to watch but then... it should be fair for every one... bowlers should be able to bowl from both the hands... maybe even it out...

  • samincolumbia on April 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Just as we expected, the english writers wants ICC to change the laws to suit their players...just as they forced ICC to introduce the bouncer rule because their players could not handle the pace of WI bowlers!!

  • chilled_avenger on April 5, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    We can have Batting Power-plays,Bowling Power-plays(which ironically do not help the bowlers at all), Benefit-of-doubt in favor of Batsman and countless other rules/laws benefiting the Batsman and no one bats an eyelash! But KP(or anyone else for that matter) doing a Switch-hit becomes very unfair to the bowlers? Switch-hit is not a