May 11, 2012

Why the switch hit isn't kosher

If you allow it, you'd have to make other concessions, including permitting a bowler to bowl with either arm
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I am overjoyed that the ICC is going to review the switch hit. As it stands it is unfair and strikes at the sanctity of our sport, which must seek to maintain a balance between bat and ball. The box office can take sides - things that look dramatic are always worth a view - but at heart the game must be fair to bat and ball. Well, if not in reality, at least in principle.

The batsmen will lobby for the stroke, as industry associations do for excise and tax laws that favour them. It is what they must do, and they will argue on the grounds of skill and difficulty, as Kevin Pietersen has done. They are correct in part. It is a shot that is fraught with risk and is difficult to play. But it is neither legal nor fair. Running Ponzi schemes requires enormous intelligence and courage, as does forging passports, but they cannot be allowed on that ground.

Indeed, this week we saw a demonstration of skill by an outrageously talented young man that was breathtaking to watch. Steve Smith caught a ball by the boundary and tossed it in the air as he stumbled over the rope. The ball followed him over, but, showing great presence of mind, Smith jumped in the air, scooped the ball, both feet off the ground as he did, back into the playing area, landed beyond the rope, and popped back in to the field of play to catch the ball before it landed. For sheer skill and difficulty, he should have been rewarded with the catch, but the law doesn't allow it. It might seem cruel but it is fair. On another day a fielder might back-pedal a few yards beyond the rope, jump in the air, catch the ball and throw it back into play before he lands, then either run back and complete the catch or let a team-mate catch it. The current provision, where the last contact with the ground has to be within the playing area, is fair for that reason.

If the Smith catch was allowed on the grounds on which batsman ask for the switch hit to be legitimate, it would open up a can of worms. And so you have to go by the principle of fairness, even if takes away a bit of drama. Unless, of course, you want both sides to benefit, which will happen if you also allow a right-arm bowler to run in and suddenly switch hands to bowl left-arm.

The bowlers must have equal opportunity. The ICC is looking at allowing an lbw verdict for the switch hit, working on the principle that a right-hand batsman becomes a left-hand one when he plays the shot and so a ball that would have pitched outside leg stump is now deemed to have pitched outside off. Indeed, I believe there is fair ground to allow an lbw for a ball that pitches either side of the stumps when a batsman changes hands. (It is, of course, different with the reverse sweep, since a right-hander remains a right-hander and the feet do not move differently either.)

And let's allow ambidextrous bowlers too. If anything, suddenly changing your bowling arm is even more difficult than suddenly switching to being a left-hand batsman. Some years ago a Japanese bowler ran in and bowled with either arm in one of the Asian qualifying tournaments, and while naivete might have been at the heart of that effort, it shows it is possible.

The other interesting bit of news was that the ICC will look at the risk versus the reward of playing the switch hit and see it if is indeed as rewarding as it is made out to be. It will be a good academic exercise but the precedent will be dangerous. Can you do a similar risk-versus-reward study on bowlers with bent arms, for example? (Oops, I forgot there aren't any and what I've been seeing recently is merely an illusion!)

Do we complicate things too much in the garb of moving ahead? Or is this an inevitable part of the evolution of the game? Certainly it is a debate worth having, and I look forward to more evolved thoughts than this article can manage.

Harsha Bhogle commentates on the IPL and other cricket, and is a television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | May 14, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    @ bobagorof how many ambidexterous bowlers youve heard of. trust me if it was easy, you would have seen them by now. dont screw an innovative stroke by going into the legal debate. there are more important issues to discuss like DRS, duckworth lewis etc. you dont have ambidexterous bowlers because there is no law allowing them but infact you dont have them because there aint any. can you visualise waseem akram swinging the ball with the right arm just like he did with the left arm. its nothing to do with laws just like switch hitters are a rarity because its too difficult.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    The picture in the article is that of a batsman playing the reverse sweep not the switch hit. In this case, any change in the LBW law should not apply. This is exactly the problem though. The switch hit is even more difficult to play than the reverse sweep or shot. For that particular reason, it's not just the LBW law that should change but a a new changes that limit the time at which the batsman changes his grip. It's not as simple as this article makes it out to be and will never be. The laws of the game should be simple. not get complex.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    C'mon Harsha there ain't be equal opportunity in modern day cricket anymore. So don't be ridiculous as u know far better than what I do about the game of cricket. It's a very cruel game for the bowlers and it would be barring some exceptions. And so far switch hit matters, I don't why it's been made an issue out of it! And what amazes me even more is your logic. I am damn sure that it would have been praised it had any Indian (Sehwag, Sachin, Dhoni or anyone else) would have been the better exponent of this shot, but alas... it's KP, non-Indian, so it's being slammed as unethical and blah blah blah. Agree that u'v fantastic history of quality & dominating batsmen but why don't u just can digest the fact that other nations too have some mightily talented, exciting and entertaining strokeplayers!?

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | May 14, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    @Abhishek Mahajan: Why should some bowlers have a higher quota of overs than others? I've never understood the thinking there. It makes sense to say 'in a limited overs match we have X overs, let's require Y bowlers, so each bowler can bowl a maximum of X/Y = Z overs". If you want to allow more flexibility, change Y. In a 20 over match, requiring only 2 or 4 bowlers instead of 5 would allow all bowlers to bowl 10 or 5, with the team able to use additional bowlers if they wish but not being required to do so. The team can then choose to select extra batsmen if they're confident of their 2 (or 4) bowlers. But you aren't giving some bowlers a higher quota than others - everyone operates under the same rules.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | May 14, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    @blogossip: If you don't legislate for it, someone will do it. Harsha has given an example of an ambidextrous bower who could bowl with either hand. It might be difficult, but it can be done by certain people - not everyone, but the laws need to stand up to extreme examples as well as the mundane. I can't switch-hit either, but KP can, so it can be done. Personally, I believe that a batsman should be able to play the ball any way (s)he chooses (some tailenders can be quite entertaining in their non-textbook methods), as long as they abide by the same conditions as bowlers. So if they don't have to 'declare' which hand they're batting with, the bowler shouldn't have to declare which hand they're bowling with - or, put another way, which side of the wicket they're bowling from. Most bowlers will still specialise in one method, but the odd cricketer (like Colin Miller) may be able to do either, and the laws need to cover them.

  • POSTED BY Joll on | May 14, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    I would allow the switch hit but amend the lbw rule so that, when a batsman enters into the position of a switch-hitter, both sides of the pitch are now deemed to be the off-side. This would mean, in essence, a switch-hitter could be out lbw to a ball pitching outside his leg stump. Switch-hitting is about improvising. Doesn't a fast bowler improvise when he bowls a slower delivery? Doesn't a wicket-keeper improvise by moving to the legside, knowing the bowler will deliberately bowl a fast delivery down legside, in an attempt to stump the batsman? As it is, a batsman in his normal stance is allowed to move all over the crease whilst the bowler is in his delivery stride. Is switch-hitting really much different?

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | May 13, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Harsha - Perhaps, a close look at the "switch-hitter" rule in baseball might steer the "switch-hit" cricket debate in the right direction. Yes, in baseball, a batter can surely switch sides as long as the pitcher is not in the "ready position" (Rule 6.06). Once the pitcher steps on the rubber, whichever side the batter is on is the side he must bat from for that pitch. He is called out if batter attempts to switch sides during pitcher's windup. Using this baseball analogy, the "kosher" cricket question is: What's the "ready position"? Is it when a bowler starts his run-up (steps on rubber) or the start of his delivery action (windup)? Therein may lie clues to a solution. That two of the most innovative batsmen - "dil-scoop" Dilshan & "switch-hit" KP - were embroiled in a bowler-batsman standoff shows an urgent need for resolution. Obviously Dilshan saw things differently as a bowler. Putting oneself in the other guy's shoes often helps in resolving issues. Clarify the rules first! TBC

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | May 13, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    harsha inspite of your pedigree in writing about cricket, you sound like a virtual novice when you critiicise switch hit. you think its as simple to play right or left handed as it is to bowl round the wicket or over the wicket. its too difficult and its also very difficult for bowlers to bowl right or left arm- nothing to do with laws. just try it out to find whether you can bowl with either arm or search for any club cricketer who can do it. mate admire this innovation as cricket sometimes becomes too boring and predictable

  • POSTED BY Addicted4444 on | May 13, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Harsha, the whole switch hit debate is clouding the real issue. There is no reason to disallow LBWs simply because the ball is pitching outside the leg stump. The only relevant question should be if the ball will be hitting the stumps or not.

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | May 13, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    (Contd) Baseball also has instituted new rules for "ambidextrous" pitchers (Rule 6.06b). The pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from. The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any "switch" by either player is allowed. After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. ICC can surely learn from benchmarking these "switch-hitter" baseball practices and then put into practice that which makes the most sense for cricket. Bottom-line: Clarify the rules. Institute and enforce them. Everything else (eg, lbw) will fall in place. You have raised some good "kosher" issues, Harsha!

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | May 14, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    @ bobagorof how many ambidexterous bowlers youve heard of. trust me if it was easy, you would have seen them by now. dont screw an innovative stroke by going into the legal debate. there are more important issues to discuss like DRS, duckworth lewis etc. you dont have ambidexterous bowlers because there is no law allowing them but infact you dont have them because there aint any. can you visualise waseem akram swinging the ball with the right arm just like he did with the left arm. its nothing to do with laws just like switch hitters are a rarity because its too difficult.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    The picture in the article is that of a batsman playing the reverse sweep not the switch hit. In this case, any change in the LBW law should not apply. This is exactly the problem though. The switch hit is even more difficult to play than the reverse sweep or shot. For that particular reason, it's not just the LBW law that should change but a a new changes that limit the time at which the batsman changes his grip. It's not as simple as this article makes it out to be and will never be. The laws of the game should be simple. not get complex.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    C'mon Harsha there ain't be equal opportunity in modern day cricket anymore. So don't be ridiculous as u know far better than what I do about the game of cricket. It's a very cruel game for the bowlers and it would be barring some exceptions. And so far switch hit matters, I don't why it's been made an issue out of it! And what amazes me even more is your logic. I am damn sure that it would have been praised it had any Indian (Sehwag, Sachin, Dhoni or anyone else) would have been the better exponent of this shot, but alas... it's KP, non-Indian, so it's being slammed as unethical and blah blah blah. Agree that u'v fantastic history of quality & dominating batsmen but why don't u just can digest the fact that other nations too have some mightily talented, exciting and entertaining strokeplayers!?

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | May 14, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    @Abhishek Mahajan: Why should some bowlers have a higher quota of overs than others? I've never understood the thinking there. It makes sense to say 'in a limited overs match we have X overs, let's require Y bowlers, so each bowler can bowl a maximum of X/Y = Z overs". If you want to allow more flexibility, change Y. In a 20 over match, requiring only 2 or 4 bowlers instead of 5 would allow all bowlers to bowl 10 or 5, with the team able to use additional bowlers if they wish but not being required to do so. The team can then choose to select extra batsmen if they're confident of their 2 (or 4) bowlers. But you aren't giving some bowlers a higher quota than others - everyone operates under the same rules.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | May 14, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    @blogossip: If you don't legislate for it, someone will do it. Harsha has given an example of an ambidextrous bower who could bowl with either hand. It might be difficult, but it can be done by certain people - not everyone, but the laws need to stand up to extreme examples as well as the mundane. I can't switch-hit either, but KP can, so it can be done. Personally, I believe that a batsman should be able to play the ball any way (s)he chooses (some tailenders can be quite entertaining in their non-textbook methods), as long as they abide by the same conditions as bowlers. So if they don't have to 'declare' which hand they're batting with, the bowler shouldn't have to declare which hand they're bowling with - or, put another way, which side of the wicket they're bowling from. Most bowlers will still specialise in one method, but the odd cricketer (like Colin Miller) may be able to do either, and the laws need to cover them.

  • POSTED BY Joll on | May 14, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    I would allow the switch hit but amend the lbw rule so that, when a batsman enters into the position of a switch-hitter, both sides of the pitch are now deemed to be the off-side. This would mean, in essence, a switch-hitter could be out lbw to a ball pitching outside his leg stump. Switch-hitting is about improvising. Doesn't a fast bowler improvise when he bowls a slower delivery? Doesn't a wicket-keeper improvise by moving to the legside, knowing the bowler will deliberately bowl a fast delivery down legside, in an attempt to stump the batsman? As it is, a batsman in his normal stance is allowed to move all over the crease whilst the bowler is in his delivery stride. Is switch-hitting really much different?

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | May 13, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Harsha - Perhaps, a close look at the "switch-hitter" rule in baseball might steer the "switch-hit" cricket debate in the right direction. Yes, in baseball, a batter can surely switch sides as long as the pitcher is not in the "ready position" (Rule 6.06). Once the pitcher steps on the rubber, whichever side the batter is on is the side he must bat from for that pitch. He is called out if batter attempts to switch sides during pitcher's windup. Using this baseball analogy, the "kosher" cricket question is: What's the "ready position"? Is it when a bowler starts his run-up (steps on rubber) or the start of his delivery action (windup)? Therein may lie clues to a solution. That two of the most innovative batsmen - "dil-scoop" Dilshan & "switch-hit" KP - were embroiled in a bowler-batsman standoff shows an urgent need for resolution. Obviously Dilshan saw things differently as a bowler. Putting oneself in the other guy's shoes often helps in resolving issues. Clarify the rules first! TBC

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | May 13, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    harsha inspite of your pedigree in writing about cricket, you sound like a virtual novice when you critiicise switch hit. you think its as simple to play right or left handed as it is to bowl round the wicket or over the wicket. its too difficult and its also very difficult for bowlers to bowl right or left arm- nothing to do with laws. just try it out to find whether you can bowl with either arm or search for any club cricketer who can do it. mate admire this innovation as cricket sometimes becomes too boring and predictable

  • POSTED BY Addicted4444 on | May 13, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Harsha, the whole switch hit debate is clouding the real issue. There is no reason to disallow LBWs simply because the ball is pitching outside the leg stump. The only relevant question should be if the ball will be hitting the stumps or not.

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | May 13, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    (Contd) Baseball also has instituted new rules for "ambidextrous" pitchers (Rule 6.06b). The pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from. The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any "switch" by either player is allowed. After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. ICC can surely learn from benchmarking these "switch-hitter" baseball practices and then put into practice that which makes the most sense for cricket. Bottom-line: Clarify the rules. Institute and enforce them. Everything else (eg, lbw) will fall in place. You have raised some good "kosher" issues, Harsha!

  • POSTED BY deepak_sholapurkar on | May 13, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Some good things are happening Now Harsha is agreeing with ICC!!!

    What would have been the reaction if Tendulkar was playing this stroke instead on Peterson.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    The switch-hit should be permitted, in fact encouraged for the drama it generates & accolades it gets the man who succeeds, with a rider - once a man has used a switch-hit, for the rest of his cricketing career, he should be treated as an ambi-dextrous batsman. There is therefore no leg-side for bowlers bowling to him in terms of - Field Placements, Wides & LBW.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | May 13, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    For those rooting for Switch hit must understand that bowler clearly needs to specify the arm (right or left) he is going to bowl from and also the side (over or round) before bowling the delivery and umpire loudly lets it know to the batsmen as to what is coming his way. If bowler decides to 'switch bowl' then he will be no bowled. Then why an unfair advantage should be granted to the batsmen when without informing he can not only chage his side but grip also. Switch hit currently allows the batsmen to exploit the loop hole in the current LBW laws as well as provides unfair advantage by switching the side a field set for right handed batsmen immediately becomes inadequate as batsmen now in a theory is playing like a left hand bat. Ask any bowler and captain in the world weather he will set a left handers field to the right hand batsmen. Also it is only fair then that batsmen should announce prior to delivery that he is going to switch and field change should b allowed accordingly.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    The argument that "switch-hit needs to be revisited to allow balance between ball and bat" does not hold water. In fact, for bowlers it is better if batsmen were to try this shot often; it provides more opportunities to get wickets, as this shot is very risky and requires immense skill. Moreover, the earlier in a bowler's delivery stride the batsman does it, the better it's for the bowler. Also the notion that if switch hit is being allowed, then the bowlers must be allowed to bowl ambidextrously is equally absurd. We must realize that for a batsman, cricket is a reactive game; the batsman reacts to whatever bowler has to offer. As someone mentioned earlier if you want to improve the plight of bowlers, move the boundaries back and allow more bouncers per over. On a similar note, in a T20 a couple of bowlers (per team) should be allowed to bowl more overs than the usual quota of 4 overs.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    @Harsha If Bowler can bowl doosra,googly and slower one batsment can play switch shot too..simple as that

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Allow 2 bouncers an over in ODI/ t-20 in test matches make it 3. Things will change. Useless subcontinent stalwarts and flat track bullies will be shown their true value..

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    For those questioning the rule that forbids an lbw off a delivery that pitches outside the line of leg-stump - it has a sound scientific justification. The trajectory of the ball pitching outside this line is most likely to pass through the batsman's blind-spot and therefore be difficult to defend or play a shot off with the same ease as other lines.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Harsha, the Smith non-catch is there written in the laws of the game. Comparing it to switch hitting is ludicrous. As a bowler, I'm firmly in favour of switch hits being allowed. Bowlers don't need the LBW rules to be changed. Any bowler who doesn't feel like he has the upper hand when a batsman switches ain't worth his salt. The switch hit is a very rare shot even now. Pietersen plays it but it's hardly given him an advantage against left arm spinners now, has it?

    Your notion of allowing ambidextrous bowling is absolute nonsense. Where is your argument? There is no argument. If you want to allow bowlers equal opportunity in T20 cricket, then it's easy: move the boundaries back 20 yards and stop with the fielding restrictions.

  • POSTED BY John-Price on | May 12, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    @dubious - you have misunderstood @Andrew Warren. He was suggesting that the outside leg rule was introduced to disadvantage a leg spinner and abolishing it would assist - the same point as you make. However, you both fail to understand the real intent of the rule - it is needed because batting as we now it is based on an assumption that the attack will mostly be coming in to the batsman from the offside. It is much harder to use accepted techniques when the attack is from the other direction, so he needs some assistance by being able to bring his pads into play. If the rule were abandoned, leg spin would not even be needed. We would be faced by an endless barrage of right arm seamers bowlers around the wicket with 7 men on the leg side and looking for lbws - and they would get them, making games much shorter and killing the sport.

  • POSTED BY John-Price on | May 12, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    The question of curtailing a batsman's ability to do exactly what he wants has never been a feature of the game.Instead, the batsmen has always been reigned in by the risk of dismissal. For instance, just because a bowler has to bowl within the crease does not mean that a batsmen cannot leave his crease - he just risks dismissal if he does so and misses the ball. So it should be with the switch hit - if he fails he could well be out.

  • POSTED BY DEV_ME on | May 12, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    B I N G O !!! You nailed it .. having been a bowler in my school and college teams, I do agree, that allowing the switch hit is unfair, it not moronic ! Having said this, I do recall a situation where , Kris Shrikant actually pioneered the switch, but only the stance and not the grip, he was given out, because he switched when the bowler was in delivery stride, but had not released the ball. One must remember that no field change, either directed or by self, is not allowed once the bowler is at the head of his run up. Similarly, batsman should be allowed to change stance only before the bowler begins his run up, a switch hit is definitely a big No-No. Further, if a batsman cant play shots with his normal stance, what makes people think about 'advantages' of changing the stance and grip to the weaker hand ? Talking of switch, why not switch some Indian players with Pakistan players in the Indian team? Afterall, KP did switch from SA to England and that was allowed.

  • POSTED BY John-Price on | May 12, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    I think if you allowed bowlers suddenly change delivery arm, no-one would be more pleased than the batsmen. Everything would be wrong - the angle of approach, the stride pattern, the field, the bowlers balance at the point of delivery. If the result wasn't a wide it would be a slow long hop or full toss. It is absurd to think that any international bowler, who has spend a lifetime developing skills as a real bowler would wast their time with such nonsense.

  • POSTED BY Stouffer on | May 12, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Completely disagree Harsha. The ICC has already stopped the batsman moving early and in doing so making the shot more difficult to pull off safely. I would argue that this actually makes it more difficult for the bowler who would at least have a better chance of changing delivery if the batsman had already started moving. Bowlers can change the pace of delivery, apply different spins, move the position of their feet at delivery, change the field, so why not allow the batsman to play a difficult shot? How about we ban the Dil-scoop as it is dangerous? I wonder how many kids get hit in the face trying to play it...

  • POSTED BY SanatAttavar on | May 12, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    The batsman only has the time - from the ball leaving the bowlers hand and it reaching him, to react, to make up his mind and to score of it. While the bowler can, consult, plan, set the field and bowl as he wishes either to a 7 / 2 field or to a 5 / 4 one. The bowler can bowl an inswing / outswing / off spinner / leg spinner / faster one / slower one from the back of his hand / one side of the wicket etc without fore warning the batsmen, so what's the big deal if the batsmen can turn around in that fraction of time and score, end of the day the batsmen is there to score thats his job. All one needs to do to get the balance right is to allow LBW decision to be given for ball pitching outside leg when switch hit is attempted.

  • POSTED BY Dubious on | May 12, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    @Andrew Warren--what are you talking about? If they got rid of the pitching outside leg law it wouldn't "curb the success of a legspinner", it would make a legspinner a much more lethal weapon. Especially with DRS. Imagine how many more wickets Shane Warne would have got had there not been the legside rule. While we're discussing legspin, can you please explain to me what you mean by the "success of a legspinner"? Since the retirement of Warne, Kumble and McGill, I can't seem to recall any really successful legspinners. And between Bill O'Reilly and Grimmet, I can only think of a handfull of legspinners (Qadir etc) who were moderately successful.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    switch hit is perfectly acceptable. the batsman is disadvantaging himself by having a ball pitch outside his physical legside and still be a candidate for lbw. ditto with the legside wide rule. since harsha talks about the 'shifting goal post', i would like to ask him, if a bowler like glenn mcgrath who is know for his good length has the field set for his style of bowling (catchers behind the wicket) is entitled to cry foul if a batsman takes a few steps to convert his good length into an overpitched delivery and whack him over cover? by harsha's logic, that shot shouldnt be allowed.

  • POSTED BY AniketSinkar on | May 12, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Harsha, After reading the article , i have to agree with your choice of words. there could be no better choice of the word to describe switch hit. The believers woould not eat anything that is not Halal, and hence switch hit is not their "plate of meat"(cup of tea analogy). However for meat lovers(non believers) it doesnt matter if it was Halal or jhatka, a meat is a meat. As long as its spiced up well and cooked well, bring it on the plates is what they would say.

    Switch hit is just like that.

  • POSTED BY ALLROUNDCRICKET on | May 12, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    Harsha Ji,

    Continuing from my previous post the Indian Fast Bolwers to have impressed in terms of speed and hostility

    Parvinder Awana (Punjab) RP Singh (Mumbai Indians) -Swing at Pace - lethal! VP Singh( Deccan) - Check his speed and Bounce because of his height Bhuvaneshwar Kumar ( Pune)

    To compare either Irfan Pathan, Munaf patel and Harshal Patel's Insipid dollies dished on a platter to the above would be doing the fans a huge disservice most of whom are astute enough to watch the IPL and understand its ins and outs. Would strongly suggest that instead of journalists and batsmen talkiing about bowling you get a bowler - your own friend the Great Anil Kumble, Srinath or Venky would have been ideal to provide their perspective. However half baked ideas when matches have clearly not been seen or some so blatantly missed is really taking the fan for a ride - somethign I know you would like to avoid

    Dhanyawaad

  • POSTED BY ALLROUNDCRICKET on | May 12, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Namastey Harsha Ji,

    Just an Observation on the discussion you had with Sanjay and Ayaz - You said that the IPL Did not discover any bowlers. Do you not think that Umesh Yadav breaking the 150 kmph mark was sth? Did you not see him hurry McCulum and Kallis into fatal pull shots? Did you miss Varun Aaron skidding the ball into Gautam Gambhir's defenses to leave him clueless or his ball that hurried Dr. Harris of Deccan Chargers? You must've missed RP Sign swinging the bowl consistently at pace or his dismissal of Murli Vijay at the Wankhede? And Sir, I'm sure you've probably mised Gony and Dinda bowling 140 kmph as well. How about Veer Pratap Sign of Deccan to hit the speeds he did for a 18 year old. To mention Munaf and Harshal Patel shows that the panel needed someone with Bowlign experience like a Srinath or Venky or someone that has Actually Seen the games. The Cricinfo Public deserve better. Also did not hear much about the fact that Better Pitches have helped fast bowlers. Tsk!

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    @land47: you have got it wrong: it is where your feet are immediately before touching the ball. If you catch the ball inside the rope and then throw it up, step outside the boundary to regain balance, then step back inside and catch the bal,l (ala Adam Voges), that is fine. However, your feet must be re-grounded inside the rope before the catch. If you have to dive back in to catch the ball before it hits the ground, that wouldn't be out.

  • POSTED BY jhaunton on | May 12, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    To my mind the switch hit is a legitimate response to negative field settings, ie pack the leg side to stop boundries and bowl outside or on leg. It is always premeditated and IF the batsman is up to it fine by me let him, it is akin to the googly or slower ball from a bowler.

    What I do think is if it is a legal shot then it is not ok for the bowler to pull out of the delivery on the grounds the batsman changed his grip as happen recenyly in Sri Lanka, if you have time to stoop the delivery you have time to adjust it also.

    Keep it in the game.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    On the balance of things the bowler is still more likely to get a wicket - i.e. that makes it fair. Thats why nobody plays that shot in test cricket.

    I've never been fond of the rule that you can't be out if it pitches outside leg, anyway. In my view if the ball would hit the stumps you should be given out, no exceptions. I wouldn't be surprised if that law was introduced to curb the success of a leg spinner.

    As for allowing bowlers to switch arms mid run up, why make it illegal? It would be darn difficult to bowl well that way.

  • POSTED BY Timmuh on | May 11, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    If the ICC is saying that switch-hitting involves changing a batsman's leg side, and ameding the LBW law to that effect, what about the field positions for the no-ball law? Maybe as soon as a batsman switch-hits, the two men behind square provision could be negated for the remainder of their innings. Its not like bodyline tactics are as dangerous now as they were in the 1930s, and it might keep the risk-reward for the fancy shot in limited forms of the game while making it a much less worthy proposiiton for the proper form. Personally, I don;t have a problem with the shot. It mostly shows up in the limited overs forms of the game (20 or 50 or whatever random number), which are "cricket based entertainment" rather than actual cricket anyway. Let the meaningless games have their flamboyant strokes. The risk-reward balance is very different in the longer game, where a batsman's wicket is paramount.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | May 11, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    If you really wanna balance the contest allow the batsmen to go for the switch hit as it improves the chances of bowlers picking a wicket. Bowling with the wrong arm is a lot harder. It tilts the scales in favor of the batsmen really. I was a medium pace bowler in college and I did try it a few times and believe me when I say its really a lot harder. So if bowlers want to do it allow them! They will pay the penalty with a lot more fours and sixes being scored off them.

  • POSTED BY Copernicus on | May 11, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Urgh....why all the debate? The MCC has already clarified the law by modifying the provision for LBW. THE SHOT IS LEGAL.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    I am actually in favor of allowing all these three - bowlers to change action/hands, batsman to switch hit and fielders to be in air and try to catch some impossibles. All these three requires extreme creativity and I watch cricket for those. Those who can bowl equally with both hands should consider them as "skill" and we'd love to watch it as I do love switch hit.

  • POSTED BY Lateralis on | May 11, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Using fraud on a national scale and the forging of identity papers is stretching your argument to breaking point. I was kind of with you, but ultimately disagree. I do not believe the shot should be allowed purely because it is innovative, nor do I agree with most of the comments arguing against you. For instance, HumungousFungus's comment that if you get rid of the switch hit the Dilscoop should be abolished is a logical error. Dilshan plays the shot as a right hander in a right hander's position with a right hander's grip. The problem with the switch hit is the change of stance from right to left (or left to right) which throws into doubt several laws of the game, e.g. LBW, players behind square on the leg side etc... The ambiguity has to be tidied up. Either the shot is banned or the shot is deemed legal with some clarification in the laws. With regards to the epic catches mentioned, as soon as you go off the *field of play*, you are no longer in play. That is obvious and fair.

  • POSTED BY olympian on | May 11, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    I dare say there were enough people who hemmed and hawed about "the sanctity of our sport" when Ranjitsinhji introduced the late cut and the leg glance. Perhaps we should ban those innovative strokes as well?

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | May 11, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    I agree with Harsha and thanks for bringing this up. If switch hit were the case all last minute switches in the playing field should be allowed - like a fielder changing position as a ball is being bowled, a wicket keeper moving in or out as the ball is being delivered, a bowler switching hands as he bowls in -- oh the list can get long as the player thinks up initiatives. The objective of governance is to have some level of equality in all aspects of the game. As it is the game has been allowed to become a ridiculously one sided game for the batsmen and bowlers are slowly running out of options.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    well its ridiculous to compare switch hit and reverse sweep. While playing a reverse sweep, u remain the same handed batsman u are and, the leg spinner moves drfits away from and the offies drift into u and the same case with swing too. So, a bowler can stick to his plan and the lbw is always a possiblity. whereas in a switch hit, the bowlers plan goes terribly awry and the dynamics are totally changed. next, a switch cover drive would be played by a tremendously ambidextrous batsman, which means ur field has been sabotaged too!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Hmm, I wonder why Cricinfo did not publish my comment. I think it's perfectly valid to say that Harsha did not account for many variables - namely, the switch hit is a high risk shot and bowlers will eventually reap the rewards. I personally believe that Harsha is probably sour at the fact that no Indian batsman has successfully mastered it and he is patently, taking an Indo-centric view when it comes to the big issues clouding the game. Harsha, more objectivity please!

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | May 11, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    What a silly comparison. I can't imagine running in and switching my bowling arm, even I was going to bowl a (very) slow ball. The footing would be completely off, and at best I'd bowl a no-ball a full stride in front of the popping crease, at worst I'd twist something! I personally believe that if a bowler runs and and bowls to a right-handed batsman, drawing his strategies for right-handers, if the batsman plays a switch-hit the original right-handed rules will still be in force - which means he can be out lbw if it pitches outside off-stump, and out if he is struck in line with leg stump. That way the bowler isn't penalised for where he chooses to pitch the ball - all he has to contend with is a batsman who is suddenly facing the wrong way, and he'll possibly reap the reward if his ball is good enough, with a bit of luck.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Then how about banning LBW's off doosras, cancelling stumpings off wide deliveries, and maybe even penalize full tosses as no-balls? Seems legit.

  • POSTED BY HumungousFungus on | May 11, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    I'm sorry Harsha, but the stance you are taking here is deluded. The reverse sweep has been an accepted part of a batsman's armoury for the best part of twenty years going back to Dermot Reeve at Warwickshire and maybe even earlier. The Switch Hit is simply a natural extension of this, and as Pietersen himself has put it, is his way of hitting the ball where the fielders aren't in order to score runs. If you wish to penalise innovation, where do you stop? No Dilscoop? No slower balls? Cricket is a contest between bat and ball: The batsmen try to score runs, and the bowlers and fielders try to stop them. The game is now being played by super fit, often extremely intelligent, professional athletes. It is only natural that the game evolve as a consequence. Plenty of other sports have benefitted from one player challenging the accepted norms. Would you prefer a world with no Fosbury Flop, no Cruyff turn, or no curveball in baseball? This is ultimately what you are advocating...

  • POSTED BY Shams on | May 11, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    "seek to maintain a balance between bat and ball" Batting has become increasingly easier in recent times with better bats (leading edges go for sixes!), lighter but better protective gear. Shouldn't we do something to balance those in favor of bowlers, at least with the switch hit the batsman is taking a bigger risk.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    your argument is not sound, taking it to its logical extension we need to define "text book" strokes and not allow any batsman to play strokes not defined there. That would mean no Sehwag, no Dhoni no Viv.

  • POSTED BY Sportz_Freak on | May 11, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    For everyone mentioning that a bowler should be allowed to bowl with either hand...by all means..go for it. There is a reason there are dozens of switch hitting batters in baseball but almost no switch pitchers. its much easier to hit with either hand than pitch/bowl. So the ambidextrous bowler is a strawman's argument.

    The shot should be a part of the game with the LBW/Wide caveat i.e.. lbw from either side and no legside wide (unless its a mile wide) for switch hits. The bowler shouldnt be allowed to pull out of the delivery though as dilshan did. Good bowlers will always find a way to overcome. A few years ago when KP kept charging out to Mcgrath, he dropped one short into his ribs. Broke em. That ended the charging.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    nice article indeed:-) you need extraordinary skills to do that..but extraordinary things are not legal otherwise you have to legallise pick pocketting

  • POSTED BY thebrownie on | May 11, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    To compare the switch hit with a bowler switching arms is ridiculous. If switch hit is banned, but about reverse sweep? Switch hit require extreme skills, and it is not hard for the bowler to contain the batsman. Just bowl the ball wide outside what was originally the batsman's offstump. The rules should remain the same as with the initial stance.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Does it say anywhere currently in the rules that a switch hit is illegal...NO, which is why it currently not deemed illegal. The only question is if it offers a batsman of average talent an unfair degree of advantage over a bowler of equal talent, which it frankly does not as one has to be really skillful to play it. The Steve Smith comparison is flawed as you are talking about the premise of the game, as in action "within the field of play" The only possible comparison would be the left arm/right arm switch bowling...to which I say bring it on, would be great to see a bowler land one trying to mask which arm he bowls with...good luck to him if he does it with success. Yes to innovation!

  • POSTED BY inswing on | May 11, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    There is nothing wrong with the switch hit itself. It adds an interesting risk-reward twist to the game. The analogies are silly. The only change needed is that any type of special leg stump protection should be removed for a switch hit. The batsman should be allowed to take a risk for a potential reward. It doesn't hurt the bowler (in fact helps him) because there is a much greater chance of getting out.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    @ HPurnapatre I think you are being a bit over the top with your "following changes need to be made" speech. And landl47 I totally agree with you but I believe if you are going to change stance to play the shot, then technically you have batted both left & right handed. Therefore it should just be if you are hit in line with the stumps you are eligible for LBW no matter where the ball pitches. That is the risk you take with playing the shot.

  • POSTED BY IndianInnerEdge on | May 11, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    Can't beleive some of the bloggers bagging Harsha and bringing nationality into this! Am sure, his article would have been the same had this shot been invented by the legendary Ranji or any indian for that materi.....On another note, once a bowler has finished his delivery stride and has delivered the ball, the batsman is free to do as he deems fit wihthe ball....however I do agree that the LBW rule needs tobe reviewed if the batsman is hit on the pads doing a switch hit. I feel the switch hit should be legitimised, it takes sheer talent, power, timing, presence of mind to pull it off and this is what keeps cricket interesting. But fellow bloggers....seriously....lets have a fun/fruitful/knowledgeable discussion....lets keep nationality out of this....peace....!

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | May 11, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Harsha, would you have said the same if Indian Cricketers had perfected the shot? which was primarily developed to counter Leg side bowling, and negative tactics employed by some sides to prevent run chases and waste time. As for KP hes taken the switch hit to a new level as he no-longer changes stance, so technically hes still classed as a right hander, however, I do agree that if a batsman changes his stance then an LBW should be allowed, but not for switching hands.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | May 11, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    I bet you a million pound Bhogle if this shot had been invented and was being played by certain well known Indian cricketers, you wouldn't be making such articles, pathetic article.

  • POSTED BY VVS_a_class_act on | May 11, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Yes, it's worth debating on Switch shot since it's violating some of the cricket rules. For instance, in any format of cricket there should not be more two fielders behind the square on leg side(courtesy - Body line bowling) , if for a right handed batsmen, there are two slips and a gully are in place, if he turned left handed to play switch shot, there will be three fielders behind the square on on-side which is not correct according to rule. In this case which team needs to penalized for violating rule, though the rule is framed in benifit of Batting side.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 11, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Smith's catch was declared illegal because the fielder is not allowed to be grounded beyond the boundary AT ANY TIME during the making of the catch. However, if that's the way the law is applied, a fielder who touches the ball inside the boundary, throws it up, steps outside the rope then steps back to catch it is also making an illegal catch. Smith did it twice instead of once, but the same principle applies. This article isn't really talking about switch hitting, which is playing either right or left handed from the time the bowler starts his run-up and is perfectly legal. It's talking about changing stances during the delivery. I agree with those that say this should be allowed, but the LBW and wide rules should be changed so that the batsman's position at the moment the ball strikes or passes him is the criterion for deciding LBWs and wides. It's a fairly easy change to make and apply.

  • POSTED BY kharidra on | May 11, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Bowlers can always research ways and means to dismiss batsman who take risks, be it switch or no switch. Therefore if the game is being played under the rules of the games and the spirit of the game is not violated then the charming elements that come up will be encouraged to produce their genius.The fact that batsman take risk offer a good chance for dismissal as well. So the challenge to the bowler is also that much less than a batsman playing safe and sound technique offers. Similarly Within the spirit and rules of the game if the bowlers device a mechanism it should challenge the batsman, then batsman research a method to negotiate as has been seen with the carrom ball, the reverse swing etc.

  • POSTED BY FatBoysCanBat on | May 11, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    I don't think you ban this innovative shot - it would be ridiculous. All the ICC [or MCC] has to do is change the law for wides and LBW's. When playing the switch hit...wides become 'off-side wides' for both sides of the wickets - thus giving the bowler lee-way to not bowl on the batsman's arc - and for LBW's the 'pitched outside leg stump' law be eliminated. This will level the playing field whilst still allowing arguably the most exciting shot in the game to be played. Also the batsman should not have to inform the umpires or fielding side what he is doing because bowlers don't have to tell the batsman or umpires when they are bowling a slower ball or doosra/wrong'un. This would just be farcical.

  • POSTED BY WalkSchmalk on | May 11, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    Patent rubbish. The comparisons with lbw, wide rules and catching laws is tenuous at best. Batsmen risk a great deal when switching and to those good/brave enough go the rewards.

  • POSTED BY tondulkar on | May 11, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    ridiculous comparisons Harsha. A ponzi scheme or forging of passports is made illegal because there is no risk to perpetrator, only the reward is his. By making it illegal, the risk is created. Whereas in the switch hit, the risk is inbuilt. The risk reward ratio seems to be pretty fair. While there is a case for altering the lbw rule, your argument is deeply flawed. You of all people must be aware of it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    I don't see a problem with the switch-hit; and comparing it to running a ponzi scheme is ludicrous. Yes a ponzi scheme is for personal gain at the expense of others, but in sport the whole point is to get one over on your opponent - and the entertainment spectators get from seeing that happen. I agree the LBW law needs clarifying, but I think it makes sense to simply say the orthodox stance of the batsman remains the vital factor. If he switches it, leg stump should not swap with off stump - so the bowler's parameters for success remain unchanged. Once that is clarified, the switch hit becomes as simple as charging down the wicket to change the length of the ball - it's a difficult, exciting skill that batsman can benefit from, but bowlers can exploit... it's another element of competition upon which the game is based. As for Steve Smith's catch, I'd say the rule change is right - we don't want fielders juggling balls from 20yds behind the rope -the batter's already hit a legitimate 6

  • POSTED BY HPurnapatre on | May 11, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    If switch hit is allowed, the following changes need to be made to make the game fair to the bowlers too: 1) Bowler can bowl with either arm. 2) Bowler can bowl from either side of the wicket; non - striker should stand well outside the return crease to allow a bowler to do that. 3) For both of above, prior permission of Umpire should not be required. 4) Batsman should be given out if the ball's trajectory is towards the stumps, irrespective of where the ball has pitched. 5) If a bowler takes a wicket in an over, he should be allowed to bowl another over from the same end on the trot (i.e. 12 balls at a go). This will ensure that a batsman will improper technique will find it difficult to play out a bowler who is in the midst of a great spell.

  • POSTED BY karthik_raja on | May 11, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    I find few comments comparing switch hit with doosra, slow ball and googly. Any1 who plays cricket @ club level will know that, its enuf 4 a bowler to inform umpire only about his bowling hand and the side of wicket. Simply "Right arm Over" will do. Offspin, slow ball, leg spin, pace, doosra, teesra, googly, flipper, line and length of the ball etc etc has nothing to do with umpire according to rule. If he has to change his bowling arm or the side of delivery, he has to inform umpire b4 he starts his run up. Similarly 4 batsmen, his stance should b informed. He can change his stance b4 the bowler starts his run up. Once the bowler starts his run up, he can play any shot without changing his stance including reverse shot. Considering this, switch hit is illegal. To even out, recently rule is changed that Switch hit can b employed only after the bowlers enters his delivery stride. Even after this, lbw-wide rules are debatable. Now, they r gonna find a solution 4 that. All is well.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    No you wouldn't. The change to the LBW law seems fair. You are making comparisons based on equality against events are not equal. It's a shot that is incredibly difficult and offers a "risk/reward" ratio that for all but the best batsmen os totally out of kilter. Banning innovation. Blimey - does the BCCI need any more avatars out here.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Can't some people read? Harsha doesn't want the switch hit banned. While his notion that bowlers should be allowed to switch arms may be tongue in cheek, amending the LBW law in the case of a switch hit is definitely reasonable. It cannot be compared to bowling over or around the wicket because bowlers must declare that in advance, or else be no-balled. Love the quip about bent-arm bowlers. Go Harsha!

  • POSTED BY km_uzair on | May 11, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    I think the batsmen should be allowed to play any shot which he has the talent of... As the bowler is allowed to bowl slower ones' or any other varity he wants too while he is a fast bowler and also can set any field as per his requirements...why can't a batsmen play any shot he wants too... I must say the UNFAIRNESS (what writer is talking about) will be that the batsmen catch the bowl and throw the bowl with his hands or play a DOUBLE SHOT. I believe if the switch hit is NOT ALLOWED then it means the batsmen should stop finding gaps in the field and start hitting the bowl straight to the fields.

    Just as the bowlers have developed the varity in there bowling.....batsmen has to adopt with it....the game play is changing.....let it be changed because it a exciting and better for cricket....

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    (contd. ) This is what Smith did. He caught/touched the ball inside boundary line ( first contact, point i of Law 19.4), at no time he was grounded or touching boundary while in contact with the ball ( point ii) and he finally caught the ball inside the boundary line. Every condition of Law 19.4 was met, so why it was given not out and six runs were scored.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    When an innovation alters the balance of power between bat and ball then the Law needs to be changed to preserve the game.

    This was true for leg theory, so the MCC banned the third fielder behind square on the leg side.

    It is *not* true for the switch hit. This risky shot does not give the majority of batsmen an advantage. For the few skilful enough to play it with confidence it is worth the risk. It does not alter the balance of power in the game overall.

    I doubt the MCC will change the Law: they have already considered the matter. The ICC may add a playing condition banning it in international matches, but shame on them if they do.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    " The law doesn't allow it'- regarding Steven Smith's catch. On the contrary the law allows such catches to be given out. I am surprised as to why no one has bothered to read the laws. I am quoting Law 19.4 , ' A ball may be caught, subject to the provisions of Law 32, or fielded after it has crossed the boundary, provided that (i) the first contact with the ball is by a fielder either with some part of his person grounded within the boundary, or whose final contact with the ground before touching the ball was within the boundary. (ii) neither the ball, nor any fielder in contact with the ball, touches or is grounded beyond, the boundary at any time during the act of making the catch or of fielding the ball.

    It seems clear by point (i) that if the fielder has first touched the ball while he is inside the boundary, he can the go outside the boundary line and field the ball as long as he's not "grounded" beyond boundary while in contact with the ball( point ii)- (contd.)

  • POSTED BY gururajan23 on | May 11, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Switch hitting is not unfair and should be allowed - yes, the laws should be changed for the LBW and wide. But disallowing switch hit is like not letting bowlers change pace or not allowing reverse sweep. I am not sure what can of worms this opens since it is not so one sided as disallowing a second bouncer when the first one is called as wide because it is above batsman's head.

  • POSTED BY HetalK on | May 11, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    Rather than taking out newer concepts in cricket we should be welcoming them. Switch-hits, doosra, teesra, chautha(??). And, to make it fair, LBW rules should be fairer. It should be out if ball is hitting the stumps, irrespective of where its pitched. Any ball going away from leg side shouldnt be called a wide, unless it's outside the white line. Bouncers are more of a dangerous thing, so i'll not tweak rules for bouncers. JMHO ... evolution is here to stay

  • POSTED BY Clethrill on | May 11, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    I can bowl with both arms, and use it to some great affect forcing batsmen to have to think difficulty (as a right handed batsmen we all know how annoying those left arm quicks are) I do however inform the umpire that I am switching arms everytime I do so.

    Having said this I still support the switch hit, I have been practicing that too (haven't brought that into a game yet). However, the LBW must be changed to make it fair.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | May 11, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    The switch-hit is a demonstration of skill. It should be part of the game. Where a ball was deemed to be going down leg ... and could've been wided under the existing laws of ODIs and T20s it would be deemed on the off side and not wide ... because the batsman has switched hands. LBW should also be catered for that the ball pitching on the leg would be deemed to have pitched on the off side. Bowlers have the option of going round the wicket, so why can a batsman not play a switch-hit. Another amendment should be that all LBW decisions should be referred.

  • POSTED BY crickhil on | May 11, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Bowler has all the time in the world to think and bowl. Batsman has a mere fraction of a second to react. So, it is fair to allow the batsman to switch hit. Also, on commercial basis, people turn up to watch switch hits, not switch bowls. How lame it looks to see all right arm bowlers suddenly doing a Sohail Tanvir!! :P

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | May 11, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    The reason for not allowing a bowler to change arms is because it would be dangerous to the batsmen, since they would not have time to prepare for a missile possibly aimed at their heads from a different point than expected. HOWEVER, in these days of heavy-duty armour for all, there is much less chance of any sort of injury.So I say..... Let them ALL switch hands at will. It is difficult to do and challenging to master, and will add a new dimension to a plateauing skill set amongst players.

  • POSTED BY leecoozac on | May 11, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    I dont see anyhting wrong with the switch it but the LBW laws should be amended for it, but letting bowlers bowl with the other hand to try to counter it is a bit too far, a better analogy is the off spinners wrong un or a leg spinners googly

    if a right handed off break bowler is basing his field placements and delivery on a right handed batsmen then accordingly the batsmen will base his shot selection on a right handers off breaks....when the bowler bowls one that goes the other way surely that has the same affect on the batsment mindset and plans that the switch hit does on a bowlers....they just end up countering it each other out

  • POSTED BY IndiaNeedsBowlers on | May 11, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @timmyc1983 - I do not agree with your logic. A Bowler informs before delivering a ball, whether he is going to bowl it over the wicket or around. While in switch hit, the batsman takes the stance as a right hander and then turns around, once the delivery is bowled. So your argument doesn't seem valid. However I am not against switch hit. Its a good innovation. Let the batsmen do it frequently and I'm sure Bowlers will come up with their own ways of countering it, whether the rules for LBW are changed or not.

  • POSTED BY PrakTheTruthful on | May 11, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    I love the switch hit. It's new, exciting, risky and for at least this point in the game's evolution, reasonably uncommon. But it can't be compared to a bowler's change of pace, length, line, direction or spin, reverse swing etc or a batsman's scoop, reverse sweep - all of these things maintain the same general field set. Unlike any other variation, the switch hit instantly reverses the field. The closest comparison I can think of at the moment would be a slip fielder moving over to leg-slip mid-delivery... I can still remember being gobsmacked at that footage, by a captain no less! The field (or at least the line of the fielders relative to the batsman) is not allowed to change mid-delivery, but the switch hit effectively does just that, only at the batsman's discretion. Like I said, I love the switch hit, but it definitely needs careful consideration.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Disagree with your conclusion, Harsha, but thanks for raising the topic and getting debate flowing amongst us spectators. Love your commentary and insight whenever India visits us here in Australia - you're not allowed to retire!

  • POSTED BY gangstalicious on | May 11, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Harsha i cannot believe you are serious.

    Why on earth would you want to ban one of the most exciting shots a batman can play? Not only that, it is, as you conceded, one of the hardest shots at it.

    When i was watching Warner do it in a twenty twenty about six months ago i was accompanied with canadian baseball fans... Everything up to that point they appreciated but still found it on the boring side, however when David did it...and it went for 6, they literally went wow and conceded they had unerestimated this game.

    You must appreciater creativity, reward thinking outside the box. That is how the geniuses of the world in every discipline have advanced the world. I can accept a modification to LBW laws, but to ban the most exciting cricket shot would then mean banning the reverse sweep, then the scoop shot, then the ramp. Cricket is alreeady universally blasted by people for being boring, why would you add to that?

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | May 11, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    Good points about the quicks bowling slow balls. However i would say that a review would be helpful to asses the shot. I tend to agree that if a batsman changes stance that the LBW law is also changed.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    As a fan of the shot I have to grudgingly agree with the article's thrust. The laws must be fair and uniform. However I don't this precludes the shot - just that the lbw laws should be updated to stop potential exploitation of rules. Skill of the shot is irrelevant. Any talk of what bowlers can or can't do is irrelevant. All that matters is that the lbw laws can be interpreted fairly and there is no room for batsmen to 'cheat' being given out by switching stance every delivery.

  • POSTED BY JP_the_genius on | May 11, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Though it is not unfair, but surely rules should be changed for Switch-Hit, specially the leg side wide and LBW.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    one should always look forward for the advancement of the game with new shots, balls fielding techniques and other things. No, wonder switch hit does give a batsman a little edge over the fielding side, but one should not eliminate the shot by rendering it illegal, in fact lbw, wide and other laws should be modified in order to inculcate this changing trend, because with T-20 gaining momentum and other forms also developing, cricket rule makers will have to get their grey cells working, because bowlers and batsmen both will try real hard to come on top and in this pursuit, will definitely invent lots of new shots, balls and techniques, and which will surely contribute to the evolution of the game.

  • POSTED BY timmyc1983 on | May 11, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Surely a bowler going around the wicket or over the wicket is just as much a change than a switch hit, and the batsman has to deal with that just the same as a bowler must have in the back of his mind that the batmen could play a switch hit. If a bowler bowls a wide ball, they get another go, if a batsmen gets bowled after making one mistake, they are out... The batsman must use all the shots he is cappable of playing to not get out and score runs, so why not allow them to try a switch hit if they think they are capable of playing such a shot...

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    if swiTch hiT or reverse sweep is legal Then Their musT be no no-balls n no free hiT's.They are maKing iT a baTsmen game.bowlers have a liTTle Thing To do.come on....don'T jusT maKe iT a one side game.or else a bowler musT have 6 differenT acTions for 6 balls

  • POSTED BY dezalenko on | May 11, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    I'm a big fan of the switch hit but i agree with harsha that some rules/interpretations need to be changed... as well as the LBW ruling the ruling of what is deemed a wide when a batsmen switch hits needs to be considered as well

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    hmmm makes sense ....switch hits offer 2 much advantage 2 the batsmen... there are not only 3 who can execute it ...and even so many will exploit it down the line successfully as they are trying 2 do so now.....doesnt matter where it pitches outside off middle or leg.....u shld b given out if it goes on 2 hit the stumps if u attempt the switch hit....makes sense when u have such high risks higher than now....if u play it well then u succeed or succumb 2 the lbw .....also negates the purposeful xplot or loophole someone mentions here..as it is now batsmen are making a mockery of the bowlers and the law...... and a switch hit should only b categorised as changing the order of hands holding the bat .... not changing from a left to a right hander stance ....tats just absurd....

  • POSTED BY BrhmaGyan on | May 11, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    I think it is fair argument. If batsman allowed switch-hitting the bowlers too should be allow to switch arm. But cricket has always been batsman biased. The most absurd one is in limited overs cricket. The batsman can bat right through the inning, but the bowler has a limited quota. I fail to understand the logic behind this. More batsman biased rules - anything going down the leg-side is wide, even if the batsman is shuffling in his crease - lbw rules, pitch in-line hit in line - even field restrictions for that matter are batsman biased. The height of stupidity is the Duckworth-Lewis. If at all calculations have to decide the fate of a game it should be statisticians and not accountants doing them. With the amount statistics recorded with each game now-a-days, statisticians could actually simulate the lost overs (Mohandas Menon would be so happy.) But we live with it saying that it makes cricket more interesting.

  • POSTED BY cricrookie on | May 11, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Hi, Harsha, I think the following is a reasonable solution to this problem:

    1) if a batsman switch hit, then for that particular bowl wide will be awarded, on both sides of the wicket, if and only if the bowl has been bowled wide of the white line.

    2) decide a batsman is right handed or left handed from a bowl to bowl basis depending on how he stands before the delivery.

    3) Keep the lbw rules as it is and apply it from bowl to bowl depending on 2nd point.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 11, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    The simple option is to remove the legside LBW law if the batsmen changes stance. Increases the risk against the reward. The stroke is exciting, but the bowler must fancy their chances?

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    @harsha: to me switch hit is definitely not illegal., and definitely not comparable to forging passports.My argument is exactly the same as that of @saurabhgarg.When spinners are allowed to bowl doosra and fast bowlers are allowed to bowl slow deliveries, where is the justification in banning switch hit, which has the same kind of skills involved? I hope to see many more of such variations in cricket in the coming days to make it much more interesting to watch.

  • POSTED BY manojaimanam07 on | May 11, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    I totally disagrees with Harsha. We know that some players have their own special shots which is is played by them only. As far as the switch hit is concerned only KP is doing it right now and we must praise him for such a difficult shot. There is no need for changing the LBW rules as the umpires can take a decision with his original stands. If Dilshan can play a Dilscoop which is dangerous for a keeper standing up why cant KP play a Switch hit?

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I beg to differ with Harsha here. If switch hit is unfair I call even bowling slower balls when he is termed as "Medium pace or fast bowler" or bowling doosra or googly when he is termed as right arm off spin/leg spin can also be termed as unfair. I don't think the switch hit is unfair, batsman has his own risk & rewards for the shot and batsman work hard for those shots just like bowlers do for their special deliveries. Changing LBW rules for switch hit is one thing but calling switch hit unfair is altogether different.

  • POSTED BY JohnnyRook on | May 11, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    @abpor,@southpaw, author is not saying switch hit is illegal. He is saying it should be made illegal. Personally I agree with it. Leg side and off side have different rules for wides, LBW, field restrictions. So a batsman should not be allowed to switch the stance. Reverse hits are fine since the batsman is not changing the grip. As of now, nobody is considering what happens when a right hander takes a left handed stance originally and then switches to his strong suit. Now imagine a leg side rank bad ball since bowler will have to bowl at original off side waiting to be dispatched to fine leg/midwicket boundary.

  • POSTED BY segga-express on | May 11, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    This article is a spurious attempt to validate changing the laws regarding LBW. It ignores the fact KP, Warner and Swann are about the only players in the world who play the shot. 3 players occasionally playing the most difficult and risky shot ever invented doesn't justify changing the laws for that very rare occasion. Harsha talks of a need for balance, but the shot is there to allow the batsman to attack negative bowling. Furthermore the mechanics of judging when such a shot is being played would be near impossible to get right. Is it if they swap their hands over? Or if their legs swap round? Or both? Such an arbitrary rule would make an overly complex rule farcical. If the law makers really wanted to bring balance between bat and ball, rather than punishing 1 shot they would simplify the LBW law by removing all the bizarre qualifications, meaning you're out if the ball hits the body and was going to hit the stumps, regardless of where it pitched or whether a shot was being played.

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | May 11, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    All this brouhaha is just because this shot is played and executed by an Englishman(or South African). If it was one of our flat pitch bullies playing it on a regular basis, he would have been praised to the skies, and a pepsi ad would have been made imitating the shot. And similarly, Steve smith catch required great awareness, athleticism and catching skills. We have seen our Indian fielders not even able to catch dollies while fielding in the deep. So it just stems from jealousy! Harsha, Sunil,Ravi,Sidhu are all part of a 'India/IPL rocks' bandwagon which shows no sign of stopping

  • POSTED BY cgs2606 on | May 11, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Finally something other than IPL.

  • POSTED BY podichetty on | May 11, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Adjudication of lbw is difficult anyway and if it is different for switch hit, then it would test even the best of umpires' presence of mind. Guess the umpire's mind will be total mess if all batsmen start playing switch hits and that too more frequently !

  • POSTED BY brittop on | May 11, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    I don't agree with the argument that, in order to be fair, if you allow the switch hit, then you must allow bowlers to bowl with either hand or either side of the wicket without telling the batsman. What the bowler needs is for the laws to not stand in the way of counter measures they can take. For instance, a good way for a spinner to counteract a batsman constantly coming down the wicket to him, is to throw one wide, and so by allowing a stumping off a wide, the laws assist this. I'm not sure yet what the best counter measure to a switch hit is, but if the laws need tweaking to help this, then go ahead.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Well the switch hit does give an advantage to the batsman but how do we call it unfair.Comparing it with Steve Smith's catch is comparing apples and oranges. Changing the LBW rules for the shot will complicate an already complicated game.We cannot consider the right hander who switch hits as a left hander for LBW as that would put the bowlers at further disadvantage. Imagine a Steyn bowling from over the wicket at a Right hander and he repeatedly switch hitting to avoid getting LBW!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    If a batsman comes down the pitch and converts an yorker to above waist full toss, will it be deemed as no ball?

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Agreed. If allowed it could be exploited. What if a RH batsman takes guard as lefty, and the switches to right? No risk and inverted field! Scary!

    For instance, say a RH batter takes guard lefty to an off spinner bowling over the wicket. Then he can switch to his 'normal' right hand and late cut as the slip(s) are the other side.

    Moreover, it is sensational since KP hits it for six. But what if a batsman just taps it into the gap for singles (and the gap being created because the field was set for the 'other' side.

    Soon this can become a regular ploy (at least in specific situations, where quick runs are needed or strike has to be rotated).

  • POSTED BY jon_ramsbottom on | May 11, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    I think the switch hit should be confirmed as fully legal. A batsman should be allowed any means stance or grip to use his bat to protect his stumps and get the ball away for runs. However, at present he has certain advantages on the leg side: protection from LBW, fielding restrictions, and his team are more likely to be awarded a wide. A batsman should be required to declare for any delivery, whether he will bat as a left-hander, right-hander, or 'either'. If 'either', then a switch hit, or any other innovative stance, is allowed and all leg-side benefits lifted. Likewise, if a batsman chooses 'either', then a bowler may change, without warning, which side of the stumps he stands to bowl and which hand he uses to grip the ball. I also like the fielding innovation in which a fielder may stand say 10 yards outside the boundary and like a basketball player with a slam-dunk, leap to return the ball inside the boundary for a catch or to save a six.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Totally agree with Harsha, a switch hit is definitely illegal because the batsmen is changing the stance from being right hander to a left hander and thereby putting the whole LBW rules of outside off-stump and leg-stump into jeopardy. ICC should immediately do something about it(either change the LBW rules or ban the switch hit)

  • POSTED BY muski on | May 11, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    Harsha- I beg to differ here. By your own logic, a doosara should also be illegal. If an offspinner is bowling to a right handed batsmen, the bowl has to necessarily come into the batsmen and not spin out. Bowlers with deformaties of the wrists become legends. I would'nt call that unfair as that is the way that particular persons wrist works. It can certainly be called unfair if the bastmen was resorting to some unfair means which is not available to other bastsmen- like the TT ball used in the glove by Gilly some time ago. You are prefectly right in stating that the bowler should be allowed to bowl with the opposite arm of his regular action. However, you and I know that is impossible- coming with a normal run up and then changing the arm of your bowling at the last minute. ICC has more critical issues to bother about and hopefully they will leave the Switch hit to rest and pursue the others.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    @Harsha : you know whats funny ; proper batsman not getting enough time to have a decent score in a T20 ; and you supported that .

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    I think I agree a lot with Harsha. Bowlers bowl to line and lengths thinking they are bowling to a right hander or a left hander. When a switch hit is employed, the equation suddenly changes. Similarly, the arguement about bowlers being allowed to switch hands becomes valid then. As to what abpor has said above, spinners never declare which type of spin they are about to bowl. a bowler goes up to an umpire and tells him the side from which he is going to bowl (say right arm over, and not right arm over off spin) imagine dale steyn saying with a smirk : right arm very fast, above 150 kmph. tht is left for the batsman to judge. The whole point of switch hitting being unjustful for the bowlers is based upon the fact that the laws change according to the batsmen he is bowling to. a leg side wide ball has to be come a legitimate delivery when for a switch hit. As for the LBW decisions, i think it is a good step forward. :D

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Who is saying switch hit is illegal, it is just that when a batsman switches sides, he should be treated as left arm batsman and can be given out when the bowl outside the leg stump ( which would now be the off stump). It is absolutely fair . What is wrong in that? Dont ban switch hit, just make sure that the batsman doesnt get any protection against LBW, so that it remains a high risk shot.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    All the analogies and parallels provided, I believe, aren't related to this context. At least I can't draw a comparison and establish equivalence between a financial fraud and allowing the switch hit. I know I am supposed to take it in "spirit" and not literally, but somehow don't get the point. But I do completely agree with one point in the article which talks about the switching of hands and the changing of the related rules - LBW, Wide etc; Once a batsman has switched hands to take advantage of the field placements, the laws for Wide, LBW etc should also be modified to even out the shift of balance. The changing of hands of the bowler - that'd make life a lot more interesting and would take a lot of skill to execute. That's a change I'd love to see introduced just to see some talented fellow somewhere come through..

  • POSTED BY SudiptaS on | May 11, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    @sushruthareddy and @Saurabh Garg : exactly....we see doosra, someone claims to bowl a teesra, we allow slower balls, we allow too many concessions which would have been shocking to purists, but then they have survived the test of time. @sushrutareddy: really impressed by ur arguement. I agree with you on this....Cricket rules should either allow this kind of outs or should make the rule like it is in football..when the ball crosses the line irrespective of in the air or on the ground, it should be a six. also the feet or any part of players crossing the boundary should not matter...

  • POSTED BY Brenton1 on | May 11, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Just an example of what I said earlier is that if you have a field of 2 slips, a gully and a third man and the batsman does a switch hit now there are 4 men behind square on his legside. So this should be a no-ball. The argument can be made that the batsman caused this field but if the batman is allowed to do it why can captains legally set this field.

  • POSTED BY santoshjohnsamuel on | May 11, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Much ado about nothing. The switch hit needs to be seen as an innovative stroke -- the LBW law needs to be tweaked to not allow the batsmen an unfair advantage. Harsha is right when he says that at heart the game must be fair to bat and ball, but his point would be better served if it is directed at batsmen-friendly pitches, fielding restrictions and extremely small grounds - all with an eye on making the game exciting (notice how this skewed view assumes that spectators view only batting feasts as rousing). It is on this count that i find the article disappointing. Harsha, a person of immense intelligence, seems to play safe all the time.

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | May 11, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    When T20 cricket was invented in England, Indian commentators criticized it. But then the IPL came along and they very quickly changed their tune. Now a new stroke is invented by a South African born English batsman, and, surprise surprise, Indian commentators criticize it. But rest assured, as soon as Dhoni or one of India's other favourite sons master the stroke, it will be accepted. I therefore suggest that the ICC invest in some coaching lessons and teach a few of the top Indian batsmen to play the stroke. The whole furore would die down over night.

  • POSTED BY Brenton1 on | May 11, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    When the batsman changes his stance effectively all the fielders have changed position which is not allowed once the bowler has started his run up. This is where the switch hit breaks the laws. Why cant the fielding side change their positions when the bowler runs up but the batsman can? This is where the unfairness comes in.

  • POSTED BY fas101_pk on | May 11, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    well well well excellent comments by every one wither its right or wrong ........ before reading the four comments i think harsha is absolutely correct in his views but now its not at all .......

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    Calling Switch Hit illegal is way over the top. It involves skill on part of batsmen to execute the difficult shot. Also the risk factor is very high. Change in lbw rules is enough to even out the "advantage" which is under consideration.

  • POSTED BY peterstich on | May 11, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    May be off topic, but I have seen sometimes a fast bowler's ball just clips the off stump, causes only one bail to drop, but the other bail doesn't move. And then we need both the bails to be dislodged for a run-out. Recently, I saw a clipping where the fielder made a direct hit to the stump, it kissed only one of the stump, one bail flew, the batsman was out of crease, other bail didn't move and before the first bail touched the ground, the batsman was within the crease. The batsman was given out. Why can't the rule simply be "when the stumps or eaither of the bails or both stumps and bails change there normal position due to impact of the ball or a hand when the ball is in the hands of the player" ?

  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | May 11, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    No harsha.. No.. The only thing needed is the lbw law to allow the bowler to get an lbw if the switch hit is made. And possibly be nicer to bowlers with the wides. This whole article stinks of harsha having nothing to write about and needing to spit out something anyway. terrible article.

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | May 11, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Just the usual from Harsha, pointless tedium allied with national interest.

  • POSTED BY GMFoley on | May 11, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    I agree with Harsha on this. Whilst the switch hit is exciting, difficult etc, the simple fact of the matter is that when the batsman (say KP for example) changes his stance during either the bowler running in or as the ball makes its way to him, and he both changes hands and his stance, he has become a left-handed batsman. However, the laws for an LBW remain as for a right hander. If the bowler is a left armer and has time to change lines, the LBW is taken out of the equation. This is why it gives an unfair advantage. None of the examples given by commenters below express such a situation. Additionally, the field is now inappropriately set for the now left handed bat.

    Addressing the LBW law as noted above by Harsha is an excellent way to maintain the switch-hit yet even things up. Additionally, the batsman should not be able to change hands/stance whilst the bowler is running in- he must wait until the delivery stride. This is the law as it stands and needs to be enforced.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | May 11, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    The batsman playing a switch hit should definitely lose the legside protection rule for lbws. In fact, as Harsha has said, he should be given out lbw whether the ball has pitched outside the off or leg stumps. Spot on, Harsha.

  • POSTED BY aroop77 on | May 11, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    I totally agree with Harsha,the laws of the game are too much in favor of the batsmen. I also simply hate the FREE HIT rule, i mean once its a no ball the bowler and his team automatically gets penalized by conceding a run and having to bowl an extra ball. A bowler running in to bowl knowing that he cant get the batsman out and the batsman knowing that he cant get out whatever he does, is simply not on. I mean in this case there is no competition at all and at that moment it cant be categorised as a sport

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | May 11, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Harsha, I can't believe you wrote that! And you are comparing the boundary save by Steve Smith to a switch hit! In fact, if the law said, sorry you cannot run (or fly) out of the boundary line to save the six *then* you could compare.

    The switch hit is as legitimate as the leg glance or the late cut or the dil-scoop or the pull shot with the back knee on the ground or better still, having a stance outside the crease. Can you state which law or rule the switch hit breaks?

  • POSTED BY sushruthareddy on | May 11, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    If a BAT can be in the air and can be given Run Out, why cant this be given out?!

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    By the same logic, When a fast bowlers runs in to a right handed batsman he expects a delivery around 140 +, But bowlers have been bowling slower balls in disguise and spinners are bowling googlies for years now. They should also be banned than, it does not have to be as dramatic as changing hands to counter the switch hit. In Tests the bowlers bowl wide of leg stump to lower the scoring rate. Although I agree that switch hit is an added advantage to a person who can execute it, but we are running into favoring the poor ( bowlers,who seems helpless against the switch hit )

    I do agree the batsman have a upperhand with switch hit for that particular ball, but overall it is fairly even. but the lbw decision will make it "more even" than it is now :)

  • POSTED BY abpor on | May 11, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    Dear Harsha, its rarest of the rarest when I have found it hard to agree with you, but I am not sure why would you term a switch hit illegal? How funny it may sound, but for "variations" a leg spinner is allowed to bowl an off spin!!, an offspinner is allowed to bowl the wrong one,and the fast bowlers are allowed to roll their wrist over the ball to bowl the slower ones! How do we justify those? ( I know this are ridiculous arguments :-)) Similar funny stuff, the pitch is measured to 22 yards, a batsman is allowed to come down the pitch to run over a bowler, but the bowler's stride has to be within those two white lines :-) why can't I go "up the pitch" and bowl... again double standards?? I believe, by simplifying the LBW rules to state "You miss, I hit" should do away with any unfair advantage imagining.

    FYI - I am a die hard bowler and don't like batsmen :-)

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  • POSTED BY abpor on | May 11, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    Dear Harsha, its rarest of the rarest when I have found it hard to agree with you, but I am not sure why would you term a switch hit illegal? How funny it may sound, but for "variations" a leg spinner is allowed to bowl an off spin!!, an offspinner is allowed to bowl the wrong one,and the fast bowlers are allowed to roll their wrist over the ball to bowl the slower ones! How do we justify those? ( I know this are ridiculous arguments :-)) Similar funny stuff, the pitch is measured to 22 yards, a batsman is allowed to come down the pitch to run over a bowler, but the bowler's stride has to be within those two white lines :-) why can't I go "up the pitch" and bowl... again double standards?? I believe, by simplifying the LBW rules to state "You miss, I hit" should do away with any unfair advantage imagining.

    FYI - I am a die hard bowler and don't like batsmen :-)

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    By the same logic, When a fast bowlers runs in to a right handed batsman he expects a delivery around 140 +, But bowlers have been bowling slower balls in disguise and spinners are bowling googlies for years now. They should also be banned than, it does not have to be as dramatic as changing hands to counter the switch hit. In Tests the bowlers bowl wide of leg stump to lower the scoring rate. Although I agree that switch hit is an added advantage to a person who can execute it, but we are running into favoring the poor ( bowlers,who seems helpless against the switch hit )

    I do agree the batsman have a upperhand with switch hit for that particular ball, but overall it is fairly even. but the lbw decision will make it "more even" than it is now :)

  • POSTED BY sushruthareddy on | May 11, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    If a BAT can be in the air and can be given Run Out, why cant this be given out?!

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | May 11, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Harsha, I can't believe you wrote that! And you are comparing the boundary save by Steve Smith to a switch hit! In fact, if the law said, sorry you cannot run (or fly) out of the boundary line to save the six *then* you could compare.

    The switch hit is as legitimate as the leg glance or the late cut or the dil-scoop or the pull shot with the back knee on the ground or better still, having a stance outside the crease. Can you state which law or rule the switch hit breaks?

  • POSTED BY aroop77 on | May 11, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    I totally agree with Harsha,the laws of the game are too much in favor of the batsmen. I also simply hate the FREE HIT rule, i mean once its a no ball the bowler and his team automatically gets penalized by conceding a run and having to bowl an extra ball. A bowler running in to bowl knowing that he cant get the batsman out and the batsman knowing that he cant get out whatever he does, is simply not on. I mean in this case there is no competition at all and at that moment it cant be categorised as a sport

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | May 11, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    The batsman playing a switch hit should definitely lose the legside protection rule for lbws. In fact, as Harsha has said, he should be given out lbw whether the ball has pitched outside the off or leg stumps. Spot on, Harsha.

  • POSTED BY GMFoley on | May 11, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    I agree with Harsha on this. Whilst the switch hit is exciting, difficult etc, the simple fact of the matter is that when the batsman (say KP for example) changes his stance during either the bowler running in or as the ball makes its way to him, and he both changes hands and his stance, he has become a left-handed batsman. However, the laws for an LBW remain as for a right hander. If the bowler is a left armer and has time to change lines, the LBW is taken out of the equation. This is why it gives an unfair advantage. None of the examples given by commenters below express such a situation. Additionally, the field is now inappropriately set for the now left handed bat.

    Addressing the LBW law as noted above by Harsha is an excellent way to maintain the switch-hit yet even things up. Additionally, the batsman should not be able to change hands/stance whilst the bowler is running in- he must wait until the delivery stride. This is the law as it stands and needs to be enforced.

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | May 11, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Just the usual from Harsha, pointless tedium allied with national interest.

  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | May 11, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    No harsha.. No.. The only thing needed is the lbw law to allow the bowler to get an lbw if the switch hit is made. And possibly be nicer to bowlers with the wides. This whole article stinks of harsha having nothing to write about and needing to spit out something anyway. terrible article.

  • POSTED BY peterstich on | May 11, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    May be off topic, but I have seen sometimes a fast bowler's ball just clips the off stump, causes only one bail to drop, but the other bail doesn't move. And then we need both the bails to be dislodged for a run-out. Recently, I saw a clipping where the fielder made a direct hit to the stump, it kissed only one of the stump, one bail flew, the batsman was out of crease, other bail didn't move and before the first bail touched the ground, the batsman was within the crease. The batsman was given out. Why can't the rule simply be "when the stumps or eaither of the bails or both stumps and bails change there normal position due to impact of the ball or a hand when the ball is in the hands of the player" ?