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

Pietersen warned for switch hit

  shares 226

Kevin Pietersen has insisted that he will not abandon his switch hit after receiving a formal warning by the umpires for misusing the stroke during the second Test at the P Sara Oval.

Pietersen, en route to one of the most flamboyant of his 20 Test hundreds, shaped to play the switch hit before Tillakaratne Dilshan was in his delivery stride and later admitted he was not aware of the regulation that prevents him moving prematurely. Pietersen, who made his 20th Test hundred, began to get into place for the shot as Dilshan started his run-up and the bowler twice aborted his run up.

The incident occurred during an enthralling head-to-head between Pietersen and Dilshan, which had already seen Pietersen switch his grip around to strike the bowler through the off side. However, Pietersen then began to set himself earlier for the shot and Dilshan refused to deliver which led to a stalemate.

Asad Rauf, the umpire at the bowler's end, signalled the warning to Pietersen after the second aborted delivery after consulting with his colleague Bruce Oxenford. Pietersen gesticulated towards the officials, clearly unsure about what he was being penalised for. The immediate consequence was that if Pietersen, or any other England batsman, did it again during the innings Sri Lanka would be awarded five penalty runs.

"There's no issue, I just got my timing wrong," Pietersen said. "He said it was a warning because I moved my hands a bit too quick. I don't understand the rules, it's something I found out today, mid-innings, at a pretty unfortunate time. I've just got to switch my hands a little later, which I didn't know. You learn something new every day. Once I'd been warned I enquired about it."

Andy Flower, the England team director, immediately went to the match referee's room for clarification over the issue, his second visit of the match following his questioning of a review against Thilan Samaraweera on the first day. The ball after the official warning, Pietersen reverse-swept again and brought up his hundred. He went on to make 151 from 165 balls as England pushed for their first victory of the winter.

Oxenford, who was at square leg when the warning was given, spoke to Sky Sports after the day's play. "The ICC think switch-hitting is an excellent innovation," he said. "But when the bowler sees intent [in the batsman altering his stance] prior to delivering the ball and stops what can happen is we can get a stalemate situation...the bowler won't deliver because he wants to change his field if he thinks the batsman is going to switch-hit.

"When we get to that situation the way to move forward is to give the batsman an informal warning, then a formal one for time-wasting. If it happens again it's a team warning under time-wasting by the batting side and it's an automatic five-run penalty."

An ICC statement in May 2010 said: "The ICC Cricket Committee adopted the updated directive introduced earlier in the year which prevents the batsman from altering his grip or stance before the bowler enters his delivery stride. Should the bowler see a batsman change his grip or stance prior to the delivery stride the bowler can decide not to bowl the ball."

Graham Ford, the Sri Lanka coach and a mentor to Pietersen, appeared more to speed with the regulation. "The rule is quite clear: if the batsman sets himself up prior to the bowler's release and the bowler sees him and is able to stop the warning is issued. I think for about every single one he set himself up before the release except for the ones straight after the warning. I think it was all handled pretty well."

When Pietersen first unveiled the switch hit against New Zealand in 2008 it provoked debate about the legality of the shot because, for example, if a bowler wants to change from right to left arm (however rare that occurrence may be) he has to inform the umpire and the batsman. There are also implications for what fairly constitues a wide delivery or lbw. However, the MCC approved the shot, citing the difficultly level as a main reason, and hailed it as a good innovation for cricket.

"MCC believes that the 'switch-hit' stroke is exciting for the game of cricket," was the conclusion. "Indeed, the stroke conforms to the Laws of Cricket and will not be legislated against...MCC believes that the 'switch-hit' stroke is a difficult shot to execute and that it incurs a great deal of risk for the batsman. It also offers bowlers a good chance of taking a wicket and therefore MCC believes that the shot is fair to both batsman and bowler."

After this latest incident, the MCC added: "A batsman is still entitled to play the switch-hit stroke but he is only allowed to alter from one stance or grip to another once the bowler has entered his delivery stride. Pietersen should therefore have only been warned if the umpire was certain that Dilshan had not entered his bowling stride before the batsman shaped to play the switch-hit."

Pietersen believes there is more danger for the batsman and says it is a shot he will continue to play - if with slightly different timing.

"Like I said when I played it against New Zealand, I don't think the batsman should get penalised because I'm taking the biggest risk," he observed. "I've always said I'll play to that side of the field when there's no one there. I don't find it a hard shot, I can just manipulate the field when they bowl a leg-stump line. It's a shot worth playing."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 8, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    @Test-is-the-Best We're going round in circles here. One of my points is how an umpire is meant to watch out for the batsman changing his grip before the final delivery stride on top of looking out for a no ball etc if there's a split second in it.Also as in any premeditated shot there is huge risk involved against a skilled bowler who can put you in more trouble than if you stood normally.Also it was proved by replays that on several occasions KP hadn't actually changed hands/stance before the ball was bowled so the umpire was actually wrong just to go on Ds pitiful reaction.Underarm bowling was outlawed years ago so that's a silly comparison but for me the switch hit is just a batting innovation just like the doosra or slower ball etc is a bowling innovation. Modify the LBW laws for it by all means but I don't see any reason for it to be banned although better to ban it than keep it with conditions which just complicate things. Please publish this time ESPN thanks

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 7, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    @Tumbarumbar on (April 07 2012, 16:00 PM GMT) You're absolutely on my level here. As I have just put , any premed shot is a gamble esp against a top bowler who can put the batsman in more trouble than he would if he was stood normally. A classic example was when Umar Gul yorked (lbw) Jos Buttler when Jos shaped (too early) to flick it over the wicket keeper etc. It becomes a battle of wits and surely the earlier a batsman shapes to play a premed shot the better it is for the bowler. We all have different views on this but to me if it is allowed it should be allowed unconditionally (except the umpire having the discretion re LBWS ,Wides etc) otherwise we have a whole new can of worms opened up.Also what happens in a T20 game if a bowler does this? Surely the only way to be sure is to go to a replay as the umpire has enough to concentrate on as it is

  • POSTED BY Tumbarumbar on | April 7, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    I think I'll go insane if I see a switch hit compared to a bowler either changing hands or sides of the wicket again. As it stands a bowler can deliver a massive variety of deliveries at a wide varieties of pace from the width of the crease. They can be full on the crease or short on the crease, they can be low or high in their delivery stride and they can set to bowl one ball but bowl another yet they don't have to tell the batsman about any of it. If they change the side they deliver the ball however you then have a sight screen problem which is the reason the batsman, at the top level at least, needs to know where the ball is coming from. If bowlers can't get batsmen out who are shuffling around and changing their grip they need to seriously rethink their bowling plans.

  • POSTED BY Test-is-the-best on | April 7, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    @JG2704- Its quite simple mate, If a batsmen need to change the stance before final stride ,fielding team too should change their field position. This is quite similar to Mankadding, which was debated few weeks ago. There are some limitations in accepting all these innovations. Would you recommend a bowler who changes his stance at the last moment and finish with Underarm bowling?..

  • POSTED BY ramli on | April 7, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    If switching hands before delivery stride is not permissible .. we see quite often in T20 batsmen moving away (left, right, forward) from stumps before delivery stride and it is permitted ... this movement may also require field changes ... and can the bowler be allowed to stop? Why can't we treat switch hit as one of the new strokes as many before and move along ... this stroke is a value addition to cricket

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 7, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @Test-is-the-Best on (April 06 2012, 12:00 PM GMT) So by the same token a batsman should not be able to play the reverse sweep or any premeditated shot where he moves about his crease. If a batsman changes grip , stance etc before the bowler is in his final delivery stride then should the bowler not be good enough to bowl something that negates the shot or even puts the batsman in trouble ? If he is not skilled enough to do this then what is the captain doing bowling him? Also you have the instances where a batsman shapes to play one shot and then plays another shot. Should that also be banned? Finally there are instances where a slow bowler will jog up to the crease and then delay his delivery after going into the final stride - surely that is also unfair.

  • POSTED BY whyowhy on | April 6, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    To confound all this, the onfield umpires said that they made the decision to warn Peterson so that play can continue without delay, it could have gone on for a few overs if the bowler stops in his delivery stride every time Peterson twitched - I suppose the umpires have to see that the game continues and I forsee in the near future it being referred to the third umpire to decide if the bowler has got into his delivery stride before the batsman moved and it will need slow motion cameras to decide who should be penalized the five runs.... the bowler or the batsman. More and more like a Hitchcock movie.............

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 6, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    @ultrasnow on (April 06 2012, 09:52 AM GMT) Sounds common sense to me

  • POSTED BY gudolerhum on | April 6, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Just a simple question or two: If the batsman is allowed to 'switch' from right to left or left to right stance whenever he chooses without warning the bowler, can the bowler, if sufficiently ambi-dexterous, decide at the moment of delivery, to switch from right to left or vice versa without advising the batsman and umpire? The bowler cannot even decide to change from over to around the wicket or vice versa without giving advance notice of his intention to the umpire who then informs the batsman who can make whatever adjustment he chooses to counter this new approach. Any reason for that? Fair for the batsman should be fair for the bowler.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 6, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    @tigers_eye, have you tried batting with your weak hand? Give it a go and then ask again why it's a risk to play like that.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 8, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    @Test-is-the-Best We're going round in circles here. One of my points is how an umpire is meant to watch out for the batsman changing his grip before the final delivery stride on top of looking out for a no ball etc if there's a split second in it.Also as in any premeditated shot there is huge risk involved against a skilled bowler who can put you in more trouble than if you stood normally.Also it was proved by replays that on several occasions KP hadn't actually changed hands/stance before the ball was bowled so the umpire was actually wrong just to go on Ds pitiful reaction.Underarm bowling was outlawed years ago so that's a silly comparison but for me the switch hit is just a batting innovation just like the doosra or slower ball etc is a bowling innovation. Modify the LBW laws for it by all means but I don't see any reason for it to be banned although better to ban it than keep it with conditions which just complicate things. Please publish this time ESPN thanks

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 7, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    @Tumbarumbar on (April 07 2012, 16:00 PM GMT) You're absolutely on my level here. As I have just put , any premed shot is a gamble esp against a top bowler who can put the batsman in more trouble than he would if he was stood normally. A classic example was when Umar Gul yorked (lbw) Jos Buttler when Jos shaped (too early) to flick it over the wicket keeper etc. It becomes a battle of wits and surely the earlier a batsman shapes to play a premed shot the better it is for the bowler. We all have different views on this but to me if it is allowed it should be allowed unconditionally (except the umpire having the discretion re LBWS ,Wides etc) otherwise we have a whole new can of worms opened up.Also what happens in a T20 game if a bowler does this? Surely the only way to be sure is to go to a replay as the umpire has enough to concentrate on as it is

  • POSTED BY Tumbarumbar on | April 7, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    I think I'll go insane if I see a switch hit compared to a bowler either changing hands or sides of the wicket again. As it stands a bowler can deliver a massive variety of deliveries at a wide varieties of pace from the width of the crease. They can be full on the crease or short on the crease, they can be low or high in their delivery stride and they can set to bowl one ball but bowl another yet they don't have to tell the batsman about any of it. If they change the side they deliver the ball however you then have a sight screen problem which is the reason the batsman, at the top level at least, needs to know where the ball is coming from. If bowlers can't get batsmen out who are shuffling around and changing their grip they need to seriously rethink their bowling plans.

  • POSTED BY Test-is-the-best on | April 7, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    @JG2704- Its quite simple mate, If a batsmen need to change the stance before final stride ,fielding team too should change their field position. This is quite similar to Mankadding, which was debated few weeks ago. There are some limitations in accepting all these innovations. Would you recommend a bowler who changes his stance at the last moment and finish with Underarm bowling?..

  • POSTED BY ramli on | April 7, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    If switching hands before delivery stride is not permissible .. we see quite often in T20 batsmen moving away (left, right, forward) from stumps before delivery stride and it is permitted ... this movement may also require field changes ... and can the bowler be allowed to stop? Why can't we treat switch hit as one of the new strokes as many before and move along ... this stroke is a value addition to cricket

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 7, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @Test-is-the-Best on (April 06 2012, 12:00 PM GMT) So by the same token a batsman should not be able to play the reverse sweep or any premeditated shot where he moves about his crease. If a batsman changes grip , stance etc before the bowler is in his final delivery stride then should the bowler not be good enough to bowl something that negates the shot or even puts the batsman in trouble ? If he is not skilled enough to do this then what is the captain doing bowling him? Also you have the instances where a batsman shapes to play one shot and then plays another shot. Should that also be banned? Finally there are instances where a slow bowler will jog up to the crease and then delay his delivery after going into the final stride - surely that is also unfair.

  • POSTED BY whyowhy on | April 6, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    To confound all this, the onfield umpires said that they made the decision to warn Peterson so that play can continue without delay, it could have gone on for a few overs if the bowler stops in his delivery stride every time Peterson twitched - I suppose the umpires have to see that the game continues and I forsee in the near future it being referred to the third umpire to decide if the bowler has got into his delivery stride before the batsman moved and it will need slow motion cameras to decide who should be penalized the five runs.... the bowler or the batsman. More and more like a Hitchcock movie.............

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 6, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    @ultrasnow on (April 06 2012, 09:52 AM GMT) Sounds common sense to me

  • POSTED BY gudolerhum on | April 6, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Just a simple question or two: If the batsman is allowed to 'switch' from right to left or left to right stance whenever he chooses without warning the bowler, can the bowler, if sufficiently ambi-dexterous, decide at the moment of delivery, to switch from right to left or vice versa without advising the batsman and umpire? The bowler cannot even decide to change from over to around the wicket or vice versa without giving advance notice of his intention to the umpire who then informs the batsman who can make whatever adjustment he chooses to counter this new approach. Any reason for that? Fair for the batsman should be fair for the bowler.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 6, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    @tigers_eye, have you tried batting with your weak hand? Give it a go and then ask again why it's a risk to play like that.

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @ShankarKR I entirely agree with your comment then wat about reverse sweep doug marvillers sccop, dilshan palu.... entire humbug to stop great innnovation for the game of cricket..

  • POSTED BY Test-is-the-best on | April 6, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Switch-hit makes difficult in making a LBW decision, deciding a Wide delivery in ODI/T20 match

  • POSTED BY Test-is-the-best on | April 6, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    If any body can change stance before releasing the ball, the fielders too can change their fielding position. This stroke is one of the ugliest stroke I ever seen

  • POSTED BY ultrasnow on | April 6, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    An Indian fan here and I've yet to read the other 200 odd comments. Maybe that will keep out any bias. I'm also not sure what the ICC rule is. My first thoughts when I read about Pietersen being warned was about how only a supremely talented batsman could switch sides and play the other way. If he can do that then he's just so gifted and let's not tinker with the talents of a wonderfully gifted player. If I were the bowler I'd look at it as a golden opportunity to try and get the batsman out - maybe york him. In this case I think the bowler chickened out. He (or his captain) was the one who should have been reprimanded. No offence SL fans. I normally support the asian teams when they play ENG, AUS, SA...!

  • POSTED BY ShankarKR on | April 6, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    If switch Hit is to be banned, then recent innovations in cricket like DOOSRA, THEESRA, DILSCOOP should also be banned.

    It is shame on Umpires to threaten Great batsman like Kevin peterson. No one had suceeded in Switch Hit rather than Peterson.

  • POSTED BY brittop on | April 6, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    @jonathonjosephs: Don't call people ignorant just because you disagree with them. Believe that @pull2open is saying the exact opposite i.e. that the off & leg side don't change, so wides don't change. You think it's unfair that naturally ambidextrous can play a switch hit and others can't. Is it then unfair that more muscular players can score sixes more easily? Just to clarify your LBW views for a switch hit - you'd treat both sides as the off side, but presumably you wouldn't change the fact that the contact still has to be in line with the stumps (playing a shot taken as read)? Also how many bowlers have ever bowled both left and right handed in tests?

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 6, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    this ICC ruling opens a whole can of worms.What if we get this in a T20 match or something and the player hits a 4 or 6 using this - can the bowler or fielding side then appeal that it is an illegal shot because he changed his stance before the bowler was in his delivery stride? Do we get loads of replays etc? A batsman is allowed to change his stance/position or even run down the pitch etc before the delivery stride for any other shot I believe so where's the difference here?If a batsmen moves early to give himself room to play the scoop shot he'll do it early and it can be a disadvantage if the bowler has anything about him.I'm not against the umpires using their discression to be able to give an(left handed) LBW to a right hander etc , but surely either disallow the shot or let it go so we don't get any of these shenanigans. As folk have already pointed out it did look as though the umpires got it wrong over this as it looked as though D was in his delivery stride for at least 1o2

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 6, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    @maddy20 on (April 05 2012, 23:05 PM GMT) They showed a few replays on Sky and I think they were different deliveries and maybe 1 looked as though D wasn't in his delivery stride but the others did. He had moved his feet but not switched his hands and moving your feet is allowed. For me the umpires handled it wrong. As they discussed on Sky last night - how can an umpire be sure when he has to try and watch for the no ball first and then watch for the batsman changing grip , unless he has an eye under his chin that must be impossible unless the SL umpire is watching for the switch and I'm not sure he can see it from there.The shot should stay or be outlawed - it just complicates the game too much.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 6, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    @ElBeeDubya on (April 05 2012, 21:41 PM GMT) Don't see too many probs with wides etc and fielding restrictions in tests - well there aren't any in test cricket and in OD/T20 the fielding restrictions are certain amount of people in the circle. I agree that as it stands the whole thing is too hard to enforce. For me , the only modifications they could make is for it to be up to the umpires discretion re LBWS/WIDES etc. As for field settings etc , surely keep it as it is. There aren't going to be too many players who can play the shot and a decent enough bowler should be able to negate the shot so KP wouldn't be able to play that shot (or not with such regularity) vs Ajmal,Vettori or a pace bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    it not about any thing about nonsense , but according to cricketing law no fielding side can set three player behind batsman eyeside leg side which is practically not visible while playing legal delivery from any bowler whom he is facing , as if any cricket match is playing in on first day of est match than will be pack of side field i.e 7-2 field set & out of 7 fielder 5 will be behind batsman eyeside & it will be practically no ball if batsman switch grip before bowler reach popping crease to deliver .

  • POSTED BY vijay_TN on | April 6, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    A interesting situation would be when a batsman switches his stance and the bowler adjusts his line to just a little wide but within the marked line. If the batsman misses the ball would it be called wide depending on this original stance or the altered stance? If the bowler is penalized for reacting to the new poser by the batsmen by changing his stance, is it fair to the bowler?

  • POSTED BY bigjobs on | April 6, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    switchhitting is fine as long as leg stump becomes off stump

  • POSTED BY rockyyy on | April 6, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    how come warner become a super star, has he played tests equal to pieterson, has he won many test matches?? ??? has he played well away from australia?? then he must be a superstar in dream! he is no equal to kevin!!!!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | April 6, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    The SOuth African Pietersen may have invented the Switch Hit, but (as with cricket in general) an Australian, Warner, perfect it!

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    This should only be used in the mindless 20-20, not in Test, it is ridiculos... stop the shot and outlaw it. It is like chucking, and there is too much of an advantage using this shot once you can learn it.

  • POSTED BY TuxRox on | April 6, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    What nonsense. How is a batsman switching positions any different from say moving 2 steps forward or a step backward or sideways - or even bending down to play the "pallu" shot for instance?

    3 players that immediately come to my mind when talking about moving in the crease are Matthew Hayden, Gautam Gambhir and ironically Dilshan himself...

    Wont any of these movements provide an opportunity for the bowler to stop in his tracks and change the field?

    I think bowlers should approach this situation as an opportunity to take a wicket instead of stopping in your tracks and crying.

    Having said this - I do sympathize with the bowlers - they deserve to be a part of the game as well - maybe allow them to switch as well - hell, I say a slower ball or the doosra is anyway wandering off in that territory anyway - why run away from it now?

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | April 6, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    @Arslan Ali...What I meant was that on the pitch there should be no constraints and limitation as far as run making is concerned. Switch hit is not a problem at all, if the bowling team can deploy negative measures such as leg stump line, the batsman is well within his rights to exploit the off-side field, that is his creativity and skills. @jonathanjosephs....bowlin a doosra is very much like a switch hit to the extent that both of them are trying to deceive the other by pretending to do one thing and then doing the other. If the batsman changes his stance during the delivery stride nothing is wrong with the shot!

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | April 6, 2012, 5:14 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY Swanci on | April 6, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    There is no point of contovercy.The fact Pietersen admitted he was moving too soon and needed to adjust his timing until the bowler was in his delivery stride. Flower visiting the match referee's room, that's his job. He has to get himself clear what the ruling was and why so that he can communicate to his team. As is apparent, players don't care to spend their time learning the rules. I think they sould care to learn if they are professional.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | April 6, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    There's no issue here: Pietersen accepted he was moving too soon and needed to adjust his timing until the bowler was in his delivery stride. He did and everything was fine. As for those moaning about Flower visiting the match referee's room, that's his job. He has to know exactly what the ruling was and why so that he can communicate to his team what they can and can't do. As is apparent, individual players don't necessarily spend their time learning the rules. Is anyone shocked that KP didn't know the rule? I'd have been shocked if he did. Storm in a teacup.

  • POSTED BY reynard on | April 6, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    Do away with legside feilding restrictions? bring back bodyline then.

    Sri Lanka adopted a negatvie strategy against KP - a 3-6 feild and an off spinner bowling a leg stump line. KP (and Warner) have countered that. Who is time wasting- the fielding captain trying to strangle the batsman and dry up the runs (playing perhaps for a draw) or the attacking batsman trying to score quickly to get a result? The intent of the laws is to favour positive, result orientated cricketthus the felding side is in the wrong here. Why not add 5 runs at then end of every hour's play if the bowlers have not sent down 15 overs? Fining and suspending the captain does not affect the result. a 5 run penalty does.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | April 6, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @CHINTHAKA VITHNAGE . SEHWAG IS NOT ONE HIT WONDER . HE HAS PLAYED SOME DESTRUCTIVE KNOCKS EVEN IN SL . CHECK OUT HIS MASTER CLASS 201 NOT OUT IN GALLE( 2008) ,110 AT KANDY 2008 , 119 AT P SARA OVAL IN COLOMBO IN 2010 . ONE HIT WONDER IS DILSHAN WHO JUST HIT ONCE IN A YEAR & THEN GETS OUT CHEAPLY IN REMAINING MATCHES .

  • POSTED BY India123ksh on | April 6, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    the common sense prevails that if the if the bowler has time to withdraw from bowling the delivery, then batsman has made his moves too early and gained unfair advantage..........

    if batsman want to play the´╗┐ switch hit shot, then he has to delay his moves to such a point of time where the bowler does not have time to withdraw from bowling.......then it will make an even contest...........

    i can bet that if pietersen delays his moves, he wouldn't be able to play that shot effectively

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | April 6, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    @pull2open surely you're not thinking straight? Imagine the bowler firing it down 6-7 inches wide of the batsman's off stump. But oh wait, the batsman simply attempted the "switch hit" and the ball is considered a wide since it is now pitching 6 inches down the legside of the new stance. If that is what the law says, it must be changed. Strategically, if I was a right hand batsman, I could assume the stance of a left hand batsman and every ball change back to my natural right hand stance. If any of the balls are delivered outside offstump from my original position, they will be declared wide for no reason. Some of The rules must be rewritten. They were written in a different era, and some do not mean anything in context today

  • POSTED BY Mannix16 on | April 6, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    @Yevghenny There is a such thing called ambidextrous. Many sports players have this condition and are born with it. It allows them to be able to be left and right handed without any preference or differences. Many batsman have this, Pieterson, Warner, Sangakkara, and many more. Identically, many bowlers should have this too and thus, some bowlers would be able to bowl well with a change in arms. But the problem is, this is illegal for a bowler, but perfectly fine for a batsman. There has to be a change to that because it is unfair. Either ban it for both, or allow it for both. I have seen a batsman attempt the switch hit but end up blocking a ball, but I have never seen a batsman get out to the switch hit so please tell how it is a risky shot. It is simply taking advantage of the field settings/bowler

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | April 6, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    After reading the comments, many people are saying that it is fair because the batsman is taking a risk. I do hope many of our intelligent commentors do realize there is a such thing called ambidextrous batsman? Yes, some people have a gift of being able to use both left and right hands equally. It is not anything to do with practice, the people are just born with it. The batsman who employ the switch hit, therefore, rarely take risks because if it is a difficult ball to score on, they can protect. How many times have you seen a switch hit go wrong? Reverse sweep is completely different since the batsman doesn't change stance. I agree that switch hit should be continued to be used, ONLY IF the bowler is allowed a "switch bowl" (allowed to change which hand he bowls from w/out telling batsman) and if wides are overruled/LBWs can pitch anywhere from the pitch

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | April 6, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    Are there really that many ignorant commentors on cricinfo? How in the world is a switch hit anything comparable with a doosra/googly/offcutter/etc? The real comparison with bowlers is for them to change what hand they bowl with (right/left) The only problem I see with the switch hit is the LBW/wide rules. For the wide rule, I feel the batsman's initial stance should be considered. Therefore, if a right handed batsman switch hits to left but the ball goes down his leg side (left hand leg side), it should not be a wide. Of course this will only be of importance in the shorter formats. For LBWs, the ball should be able to pitch anywhere and if it hits the stumps, so be it. Also, if the batsman should be allowed this, why not the bowler? Allow bowlers to be able to bowl from either right or left hand without telling the batsman. This should tilt the scales in favor of both the batsman and the bowler and make the playing field level

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    am i the only one who thinks no bowler till date has had a problem with the shot? they would rather prefer batsmen play the shot than not.

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2012, 1:00 GMT

    quite simple. if it makes mockery of a field setting, lets introduce just one provision. as soon as a new batsman comes to the crease, let him say to the umpire (and the fielding side) that he is going to play the switch hit that innings.it is then upto the fielding side to set the field accordingly. when he is going to play the shot is something that should be left to the batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    If Dilshan haad contin ued to bowl and Peterson had mishit the ball or missed it and lost his wicket I'm sure that SL would not have any problem. More and more every day all kinds of rules and regs are coming into cricket that claim to "improve the game".

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | April 5, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    I'm a cricket purist. And to me it is a disgrace that switch hit is allowed in test match cricket. Test cricket should be made tougher. Why do they keep making it easier for the batsmen? It's an utter disgrace. Sorry, I just can't watch dirty t20 style batting in test matches. What a shame.

  • POSTED BY pull2open on | April 5, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    Switch hitting does NOT play havoc with the LBW law, or Wides. Law 36 (LBW) makes it quite clear which sides the Off and Leg side are for any delivery. Clause 3 states "The off side of the striker's wicket shall be determined by the striker's stance at the moment the ball comes into play for that delivery". So, as soon as a bowler starts his run-up, or delivery action if he has no run up, the off and leg sides are defined and fixed for that entire delivery, no matter what the striker does at any point during it. So if he switch hits, he becomes *more* vulnerable to LBW, not less. Wides remain unaffected. This is why the balance between bat and ball is also maintained, and why MCC have reviewed the technique and deemed it fair.

  • POSTED BY nubes on | April 5, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    well, whatever you call this DOOSRA BALL vs DOOSRA SHOT. it was an enjoying battle between KP and Dilshan! some real fun guys! loved it. hope to see this sort of battle again between them.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | April 5, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    @JG2704 Once but the other two times it was the right call. There are only so many things an umpire can check . I have no problem with the switch hit as long as its within the bounds of the game. It is an awesome shot and is just like the reverse sweep but its more like a reverse slog sweep. We have seen batsmen use it to negate spinners so no issue there. The Lankans did go a bit overboard though. Perhaps all that aggressive hitting made them mad!

  • POSTED BY nubes on | April 5, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    Doosra Shot!!! ha ha ha. well said India_boy#.

  • POSTED BY tennakoon63 on | April 5, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    He is playing cricket without knowing the basic rules of cricket?

  • POSTED BY dilscoop_uk on | April 5, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    Switch hit is an exciting shot and should be allowed .. After all these international bowlers should find the ways to negate with it.

  • POSTED BY brittop on | April 5, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    Nobody seemed to have any objections when the reverse sweep first appeared - it was generally agreed to be a skillful way of avoiding the fielders if played well. Why does the switch hit arouse so much ire? It's not as though is some sort of "wonder risk-free" shot. Also in other cases of pre-meditated shots, the bowler seems quite happy to see the batsmen prepare too early - the dance down the pitch (bowl it wide), the sweep (faster and straighter), so bowl something to prevent the batsman playing it well.

  • POSTED BY jr1972 on | April 5, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    @Wajira De Abrew, Not out!

  • POSTED BY ABP235 on | April 5, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    Wish Andrew McGlashan had clarified about the LBW and wide ball rules during a switch hit! Logically, a switch hit should be allowed, just the way a bowler can bowl pehla, doosra, teesra, (Ajmal stuff) slow, fast, googly variants. At the same time, the LBW and wide rules be modified to go against the batsman at all times. For example, if the ball is pitched outside the leg stump for the original stance, that should be out (if other rules are satisfied) and same way, ball pitched outside the off stump (original) which becomes leg stump on switching should also be out (if out with other applicable rules). In the same manner, for wides, whichever side the ball is bowled by the bowler, the off side wide rule should be applied which has a wider margin, not the leg side wide (narrow margin) rule. This way one restores parity when batsman tries to take advantage. KP, DW, Dilshan are pleasures to watch, should be encouraged.

  • POSTED BY ElBeeDubya on | April 5, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    As others have pointed out, the switch hit rule plays havoc with LBW RULES in addition to rules regarding WIDES and FIELDING RESTRICTIONS. Also, what if a batsman fakes a switch and then go with the regular shot?? I don't have any problem with KP and all the power to him if he can make it work. The delivery stride measurement is going to be very ambiguous and I can't think umpires getting it right most of the times since, if the umpires are strict about it, only a slo-mo replay may confirm what happened first. No umpire can monitor the bowler's stride and batsman SIMULTANEOUSLY and do we really want a wrong 5-run penalty to determine the OUTCOME OF A CLOSE GAME? So ICC should either allow it or disallow it as well as get rid of LEG SIDE FIELDING RESTRICTIONS and stricter LEG-SIDE WIDE calls in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Andy Flower should be appointed the 4th umpire when England play.He seems to spend a lot of time querying the 3rd umpires decision. This is obviously irregular and he should be reported to the match referee and fined or whatever. The gumption of the man! Howzat

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    @hash_cric on (April 05 2012, 13:48 PM GMT) Surely the common sense thing is to say to the captain to bowl his over out and replace him with a bowler who has the skill level to negate the shot

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    @Rally_Windies on (April 05 2012, 13:33 PM GMT - Re "believe it or not switch hitting is not that difficult" - NOT. If it was not that difficult it would be played by many more batsmen

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    @maddy20 on (April 05 2012, 15:46 PM GMT) Replays seem to indicate that Dilshan was in delivery stride and the umpire was actually incorrect. It's a bad rule as I said previously as there are too many grey areas. Awful rule as far as I'm concerned. They should either allow it or disallow it. But nice to see you giving credit for a great innings from KP.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    @AlbertEinstein on (April 05 2012, 11:55 AM GMT)lol - your comms certainly contradict your user name

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    @sheila_4 on (April 05 2012, 12:38 PM GMT) - Disagree with you re the "Aussie mentality" thing. I think they would feel they'd lost the psychological battle by doing this. I'm sure if KP did that to say Lyon or Smith etc . Clarke would just bring on Cummings or Pattison to bowl some hostile stuff at him to unsettle him. The rest of the post I'm in agreement. For that - as The Smiths would say "Sheila Take A Bow"

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    @India_boy Doosra is not a Change in Action of the bowler , it is similar to a batsman Playing any Stroke(reverse sweep or Cover Drive),it does not require any permission from umpire. If a bowler Changes his hand(from Right to Left) during the bowling action, then it is not allowed(similar to predetermined Switch HIT) and it requires permission of Umpire. There is no LIMIT to a Batsman of what type of Shots(Leg Glance, On Drive etc) he chooses Once the Ball is Delivered, Similarly there is no LIMIT to a Bowler of what type of Bowl(Doosra, Slower Bouncer etc) he delivers once it is out of the (Allowed) Hand.

  • POSTED BY EdGreen on | April 5, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    Pietersen was within his rights, so was Dilshan - who cares about a few moments delay - these two entertain and perform, the laws are simple the batsman's stance is set at the time the bowler begins to run up - he's allowed to move just as the bowler is allowed to deliver early. The umpires were wrong and the whingers don't know the laws of the game.

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | April 5, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    I dont get it, if the bowlers are allowed to bowl Doosra and Teesra without informing either of the batsmen or the umpires, why should switch hit be a problem, they can call this shot Doosra as well!

  • POSTED BY tigers_eye on | April 5, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Contradictory statement by KP in the last paragraph. How can that be the biggest risk when there is noone there to begin with according to his statement?

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | April 5, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    @McGorium:

    Exactly, thats what I think too. We should keep the switch shot as a legitimate shot and the bowler should have the option of appealing for various modes of dismissal irrespective of the batsman's original stance OR we could have some other way of compensating the bowler/fielding side. The game needs to evolve and not to remain static. Purists will always frown upon some shots. Reverse sweep, hitting in the air, hitting against the turn were all derided once. The bowlers need to prepare themselves for a switch hit and should not ask for banning the shot or ask for a certain time frame for that shot to be played. If I can come down the wicket anytime then I can get into the switch hit stance anytime too.

  • POSTED BY AndyZaltzmannsHair on | April 5, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    @jmclhinney & David Wise: Irony seems to be lost on you two.

  • POSTED BY ElBeeDubya on | April 5, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    The bowler has the right to stop if the batsman switches since there are issues with leg side FIELDING RESTRICTIONS and, for ODIs, STRICTER WIDES for leg-side. The problem is that umpires have to concentrate on the bowler to make sure that he is NOT OVERSTEPPING as well as SIMULTANEOUSLY concentrate on when batsman is switching hands which will be near impossible for him. This is going to difficult to implement.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 5, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    @Darren Stillwell, do you drive a car? If you do, do you know every rule of the road? If KP didn't know the rule it's probably because he's never had to because it's never been an issue before. I don't think that I've seen him play the switch hit more than twice in the same innings before and even playing it once is fairly rare. He played so many switches and reverses today that Dilshan in particular had an issue with it and decided to keep pulling out of his delivery. On at least one of those occasions KP hadn't switched his stance or grip and on at least one more Dilshan had definitely entered his delivery stride so it was just Dilshan concerned he was going to go for more runs, rather than seeing it as a high-risk shot that presented an excellent opportunity to get the batsman out. From what I saw, there may have been one or maybe two occasions where KP went too early but Dilshan pulled out several more times than that.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 5, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    @AndyZaltzmannsHair, um you do realise that the Switch Hit Podcast is by English, for English, about English, right? It's not supposed to be a balanced overview of world cricket. It's English cricket writers/fans talking about English cricket.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | April 5, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    Wonderful innings by Kevi. This hue n cry about his switch hit and SA origin often come when he humiliates the opposition. We are lucky to have him playing these amazing knocks which his home SA denied him. No doubt he should be more aware of the rules of the game but it is nice to see him playing for the moments and not for dead record books and statistics wihch most masters are accustomed to. He has great ability to murder the bowling lineups just should practice the switch hit to avoid criticism.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    @AndyZaltzmannsHair The switch hit podcast in its description is 'A talk show on English cricket' Congratulations for spotting that its biased towards England.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    I agree with USA_Res, this article is free from KP bias.

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | April 5, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Switch hit is exciting and should be allowed as long as there are no fielding irregularity implications. At least KP made the match watchable.

  • POSTED BY HusseyForever on | April 5, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Test Match standard is downgrading by poached players. I don't think Warner played this shot any test match.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    How come Pietersen didn't know the rules? He's a professional cricketer!

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    There are a lot of silly comments here. It comes down to what is within the laws of the game and what isn't. Bowlers changing hands or side of the wicket is against the laws so it's not allowed. Switch hitting is not against the laws so it is allowed. Bowling with a bent elbow is within the laws so it is allowed. Personally, I wouldn't have an issue if the switch hit was legislated against but it's not going to be so get over it. The issue here is whether or not Pietersen changed his grip and/or stance earlier than he was allowed by the laws. From the replays I saw, on at least one of the occasions Dilshan pulled out of the delivery he did not. SL were getting smashed at the time and, like any team, they didn't like it. Any team will do whatever they can to make the game go their way. MJ can profess to be morally superior because he wouldn't mankad if he wants to but he's as likely as anyone else to whinge to the umpire if he thinks things aren't going his way. People are people.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | April 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    the venues for test series against england in india are : ahemdabad , nagpur , mohali , banglaore . all those are flat wkts . bcci has gone out of their heads . . england tests venues should be chennai , kolkata , kotla , kanpur .the real minefields of india . we want revenge .

  • POSTED BY Nidula on | April 5, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    whtever.. switch-hit is a cool shot to watch out as a spectator... :D

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    When you get into position early, doesn't that give the bowler the advantage of knowing exactly where to pitch the ball?

  • POSTED BY AndyZaltzmannsHair on | April 5, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Ban the switch hit. And I don't mean the cricket shot. Terrible podcast. Far too biased towards England.

  • POSTED BY AdrianVanDenStael on | April 5, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    So Pietersen has learned a bit more about the regulations today. Fair enough, I hope he finds that edifying. To be fair neither I nor, judging by many of the posts on this thread, many cricket watchers around the world were up to speed with the regulations before this incident either. Mind you, we don't make a living playing the game at an international or professional level, and nor is the switch hit our signature shot.

  • POSTED BY cricket_for_all on | April 5, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    No body is against the switch shot but rather KP changed his position before Dilsan bowls. Dilsan acted under the ICC rule (He doesn't need to follow MCC rules). BTW what is the matter with this guy "Andy Flower". Is he think that he knows everything. He should be banned for life (He even goes to meet opposition team's captain to overturn the decision). By the way well played KP!! wonderful knock!!.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | April 5, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    @Rally_Windies I agree it is just an extension of the reverse sweep me thinks.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | April 5, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Is it true that Andy advised Graham Ford to visit the third umpire's room, to question why Cook was not given out? Since he is in the habit of visiting the umpire's room on more than one occasion, and also did so when he and Strauss visited Dhoni to request him to withdraw his appeal against Bell, and he was successful.....Andy says it's worth taking a chance. Graham, being the gentleman that he is, politely declined. England have done very well, especially KP, and are in a dominant position, but let us not go overboard, and remember that if SL score about 380 or so, and there is about 3 or 4 hours left, and England have about 200 to score, with the wicket turning awkwardly, then anything can happen. This is cricket, and let's keep the celebrations on hold, till some time tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | April 5, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    @JG2704 What part of the rule did you not understand? It is illegal! THe law clearly states that it is illegal to change the grip/stance before the bowler gets into the stride. Cricinfo was good enough to provide an excercept concerning the same . "An ICC statement in May 2010 said: "The ICC Cricket Committee adopted the updated directive introduced earlier in the year which prevents the batsman from altering his grip or stance before the bowler enters his delivery stride. Should the bowler see a batsman change his grip or stance prior to the delivery stride the bowler can decide not to bowl the ball."

  • POSTED BY Red37 on | April 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    It seems to me that Flower went for clarification not to influence the referee. Watch any sport you like and it is 100% sure that such enquiries go on all the time. The difference is that it doesn't require a trip to a separate room; it happens in full view of everyone in the park or building. One thing you can be sure of (and I speak as a qualified coach of four sports) is that coaches are almost entirely oblivious to most of the nuances of the laws of their game and learn only as they arise in game situations. The fact that umpires/referees/law makers had to issue an explanation is surely enough for "reasonable" folks to see that there are/were complications. Trouble is that 99% of those who post on these blogs are clearly NOT reasonable and are pathetically and umbillically tied to their beloved (name your team/idol,country here) to the exclusion of objectivity..

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | April 5, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    AGAIN FLOWER GOES TO VISIT MATCH REFREE 'S ROOM . JAVAGAL SRINATH WILL BE HAVING TOUGH TIME IN MIDDLE .

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    there's a very simple solution to this crap.... the rule should be that if the batsman decides to "innovate" the wide and lbw rules should be in the bowler's favour.....

    LBW: if the bowl is headed for the stumps he's out if it hits him on the pads... no benefits to the "innovator" on account of the bowl pitching outside the line of the stumps or not hitting him in line with the stumps.....

    Wide: it would not b deemed a wide ball as long as it stays within the wide marks outside the off-stump, i.e., the leg-side wide rule will b tossed out of the window when the batsman "innovates"!!!!

    let's c how many r willing to innovate once this rule is applicable....

  • POSTED BY Red37 on | April 5, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Hey Jonesy. Why don't you stick with that third class series between the Ozzie failures and the WIndie boys?

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    i dont understand wats the problem with switch hit..!!! y people are thinking such a wonderfull unorthodox shot is bad 4 cricket.... if switch hit needs 2 b banded dilscoop...muccullums scoop helicopter shots also needs to b banded.. new inventions like switch hit will make cricket more challenging and challenges makes cricket more intresrting..

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    what is incredible is that there are so many who simply don't get how unfair this shot is to the bowler..... if this is an innovation then maybe bowling underarm should also have been considered an "innovation" and allowed (the fact tht it was utterly unfair to the batsman shouldn't have been a factor).....

    but tht will obviously not b allowed as it is unfair to the batsman... nd we all know tht the rules r basically designed to make it a batsman's game.... the icc intends to keep it tht way (nd so do a lot of the fans going by the reactions of certain dimwits who simply can't get their heads around wht's wrong with the switch hit)

  • POSTED BY Ukayholic on | April 5, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    I agree with the match referee here. The batsman shouldn't be allowed to change his stance BEFORE the delivery otherwise the bowler should be allowed to switch hands during delivery. That should make it even then. For years the cricket have been favoring the batsmen and bowlers always had very less in it. Good decision in the end.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Who the heck is Warner? Kevin Pieterson invented this beautiful shot. Warner is just a one hit wonder, just like Sehwag.

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | April 5, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    @Harmony111: What you said would be reasonable, if the fielding side were also given such leeway. However, there isn't. Fielders are not allowed to move until the bowler enters his or her delivery stride. The bowler is not allowed to change from over to around the wicket without informing the batsman, nor is he allowed to change the arm used to deliver. Bowlers are allowed to roll their arm over exactly once to deliver the ball; if you do it twice or more (like a propeller, so to speak), it's a no-ball. When Jardine came up with the Bodyline tactic, aussie batsmen's whinging made having more than 2 fielders behind square leg illegal. When the great windies bowlers used bouncers to intimidate batsmen, they started restricting the number of bouncers per over. Cricket has historically favoured batsmen because they were upper-class, and bowlers came from the poor. Here's a fair rule: If a batsman switch-hits, he can be out LBW regardless of where the ball pitched. 2 offsides, basically.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | April 5, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    Clearly, the problem plaguing us in inconsistency, with DRS, with Duckworth-Lewis, neutral/home venues, and now switch-hitting. Dilshan was justified in aborting his deliveries with Pietersen's early stance change. Switch-hitting is fair enough though, not as absurdly early as Pietersen was changing his stance though. Sort it out! Award the penalty runs, tell him not to do it again and get on with it. And please publish clarification on how the LBW law is to be amended - I'm of the opinion that the batsman sacrifices the benefit of the leg-stump line rule, and the off-stump impact rule; if you go for the switch-hit and screw up, you deserve to suffer the consequences!

  • POSTED BY bMike on | April 5, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Players who destroy the spirit of the game by playing too many wild shots like reverse sweep, helicopter shot or what ever should be given life time ban

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | April 5, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Fair call from the umpires keeping the batsman from moving until the delivery stride. You set a field for a left or right hand bat so if they switch to early then you have taken out the fielding strategy. You just need clear guidlines about it though (does leg stump then become off, can you be LBW if it pitches outside the origional leg stump line).

  • POSTED BY whyowhy on | April 5, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Prewarned is prearmed, if Dilshan saw him change his stance early he should have outsmarted Peterson instead of pulling out, trying to be a showman to impress IPL talent scouts must be the reason.......as for Dias abeysinghe's dream of the bowler switching hands, wake up and coaches have every right to question the referees and umpires, this has to be done to clarify the charges and educating their teams on how to avoid it whilst playing in the future. Being dumb and dumber does not help......

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    jonesy2 - Bore off chap, how many times has Warner switch-hitted Vettori and Murali out the park for 6? Pietersen is an established test-class batsman, maybe even world class. Warner's a new guy. Why can't you just applaud a top batsman playing a tough shot? And if he's not good enough to play it, why has he played it so successfully so often?! Yawn, mate, yawn.

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

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

  • POSTED BY maxkuiters on | April 5, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    So changing your stance? Surely backing away or advancing down the wicket before the delivery is bowled could also be considered changing your stance? Yet it happens?

    I think LBW's, bowl pitching outside leg, is the the biggest problem with switch hitting, maybe we should just drop the 'outside leg' rule.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Switch hit should be banned. The bowlers are always at the receiving end. When somebody bowls the doosra, the legality of the delivery is questioned.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | April 5, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    That goodness Petersen came into bat and did something as watching Cook bat is like watching paint dry - what a pathetic strike rate, get on with it.

    Come on Lions bat for 2 days and hold out Eng.

  • POSTED BY StatisticsRocks on | April 5, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    How abt having designated switch hitters like in Baseball. So the other team knows who is capable of switch hitting and be prepared for that just to make the playing ground even. I am sure there are so any batsmen who can play both left and right handed.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | April 5, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    @hash_cric, he actually used it against Murali, but glad to hear you think Murali is a partimer, makes you wonder how he got 800 test wickets.......

  • POSTED BY StatisticsRocks on | April 5, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    @Jonsey: Agree that Warner plays it way better than anyone but KP was one to first introduce it.

  • POSTED BY SettingSun on | April 5, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    @jonesy2 - so, you're not at all perturbed by the fact that he's been playing it for several years now, pre-dating David Warner's appropriation of it?

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | April 5, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    @USA_Res: Or it could be that people don't normally complain about someone getting just desserts for their own stupidity.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    @ Hash-crick. "Never try against quality bowlers" ??? The first two times I saw it, it was against Muralideran - and both went for 6. Was Muralideran (sic???) not a quality bowler then?

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    @satish619chandar on (April 05 2012, 11:06 AM GMT) To be honest a skilled bowler should still be able to deal with this if he was worth his salt. Sorry but I can't imagine a Murali , Warne , Swann or Afridi doing what Dils did. I think they'd feel embarrassed as what he did basically just said that he could not deal with KPs skill level. These bowlers would definitely have worked out a way of at least limiting the amount of times he played the shot. I think wides,LBWs etc should be down to the umpires discretion as to whether he sees it as a right handed shot or left handed shot. Sorry but I think that was a very poor show from Dilshan and he should have been made to complete the over and then the umpire say to Jaya - if you want to combat this then put on a quicker or more skilled bowler.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (April 05 2012, 13:10 PM GMT) I wasn't so much a doubter but I did mention his name as a possible casualty because I felt unfair about singling out Bell. If I was a selector I would still have dropped Bell before KP and to be fair to our critics England have lost 4 matches in a row where KP has not delivered so even now it is a case of if you play a batsman enough they are likely to come good at some point but if you play all the batsmen who are all out of form then losing 4 tests in a row is a heavy price to pay. I like your generous comms about KP however and as I said , Bell would be my man to go and still would be regardless of whether we win this match or not and he can still come back from this as he did before. They seem to have less prob when it comes to bowlers.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    The thing that gets me is if it is illegal then KP should not have been able to play it and score runs on it to begin with? Having this "when the bowler is in his stride" rule opens up far too many grey areas for me. If a batsman charges down the pitch at a bowler then a bowler should be able to bowl a delivery which negates this. The same with this instance. I'm sorry but if the boot was on the other foot and Swann or Patel was bowling to Dilshan or Jaya and they kept getting the better of him and Swann eventually resorted to doing what Dils did then all these commenters who are saying it should be outlawed etc would be on Swann like a rash - and we all know they would. One thing is for sure - KP definitely won the psychological battle. I truly believe any decent bowler worth his salt would have seen this as a challenge and would not have wanted to admit a batsman had got the upper hand

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | April 5, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    The ICC do not appear to have thought the regulation through. The umpire cannot possibly determine when the batsman has changed his grip if, at the same time, he is required to look at the bowler's delivery stride. As others have correctly said, any decent bowler who sees the batsman changing his grip should surely see this as a wicket taking opportunity. The regulation is therefore impossible to implement fairly and effectively protects inadequate bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    The first time Dilshan stopped it was fair enough under the new "Warner" ruling. But subsequently Pietersen had simple shuffled his hands slightly on the grip. When Dilshan stopped on the last two ocassions Pietersen had neither moved his feet or swapped his hands over. He had "twitched" as if it was his intention, but if you wantch, at the time Dilshan pulled out on the last two aborted deliveries Pietersen had deone nothing but "twitch". No noticeable foot movement and no hand swap.I hope Swann just stops every time a batsman look to use his feet and advance down the pitch then the stupidity of this rule will be tested and broken

  • POSTED BY AlbertEinstein on | April 5, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    I would love to see Kevin Pietersen playing switch hit against Shaun Tait........either the ball would be smashed or KP's teeth........lol

  • POSTED BY cyniket on | April 5, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    To those saying the bowler should be allowed to change side unannounced, I would say, given that the bowler is already in control of where the ball goes, it is only fair that the batsman be given the opportunity to take an appropriate guard. The bowler can move his delivery point around the crease if he wishes. If the batsman moves around in his crease (as seems to be allowed) or comes down the wicket early, or changes grip, he does so at increased risk. Which is why batsmen don't do these things early in their innings, or very often at all. A good bowler should be able to take advantage, especially if the batsman moves early.

    I can't imagine warne or murali, or any top spinner being cowed by this move, they would take it as a challenge and a chance to take a wicket. Any bowler who doesn't see this as a chance is a coward.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | April 5, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    pieterson isnt good enough to play it. its warners shot. a real superstar

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | April 5, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    For those of us who understad the written law I think its clear that KP playing the shot isnt the issue but changing his stance BEFORE delivery is. The shame is this article should be focusing on the amazing knock he played and nothing else but here we are having this debate and alot of us dont understand the issue. Credit where its due and KP played a series saving and knock when it mattered most and really there is no issue with KP but he sets such high standards with innings like these, anything less and people start moaning about shot selection and left armers and all sorts of rubbish.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    i don't think that was a switch short.......... it was reverse sweep........ do i need to teach ASAD RAUF the difference between SWITCH SHORT N REVERSE SWEEP?????????\

  • POSTED BY banter123 on | April 5, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    Batsmen gets only one chance,its in his right to do whatever he wants.Its not fair for a bowler to change his arms as there are sight-screen problems (maybe an exception for flat tracks) and spectators only get there penny worth when there is entertainment in form of mesmerizing shots. Its about time ICC solves DRS,Switch hit and the most complicating of all i.e Duckworth-Lewis.

  • POSTED BY dilscoop_uk on | April 5, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    I think he should be allowed this switch hit .He would never try it against the quality bowlers. He only tries this with part time bowlers like Dilshan , Stryris and some mediocre bowlers. Bowlers have more chances of getting him out , if they see him changing the grip by bowling him into his Leg and get LBW in ur favour.

  • POSTED BY 777aditya on | April 5, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    switch hit can only be played when the bowler is bowling a negative line - can Pietersen play the shot if Dilshan bowls him on or outside the off stump line? it is easier to play this kind of a shot if the bowler is bowling a leg stump or outside the leg stump line - hence the debate can lead to another one - so, let us all accept this as a part of the batsman's skill set and move on please, enough said already!

  • POSTED BY StatisticsRocks on | April 5, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    It has hapenned before that the bowler backs out seeing the batsmen get in position for switch hit. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ausvwi09/content/story/449907.html. http://cricketnext.in.com/live/news/warners-switch-hit-ignites-debate/63531-13.html. Ironically it was first used by KP in 2008 agnst NZ. I honestly don't understand what the problem is as a batsman is only improvising. Isnt the goal of the batsman to beat the fielders. If this is ill-legal then what next 'The inside out shot' over the covers since the on side field is packed.

    In any case KP's knock was due as his inclusion in the side was being questioned and what a knock it was. SL have tough task ahead but looking forward to an exciting finish.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | April 5, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    It would be a sorry event if the switch hit is banned or curtailed. Should a fast bowler be banend form bowling a slower one? Should a leggie be banned form bowling a googlie? Should a fielding captain be reprimanded for putting a deep square leg and then double bluffing by asking the bowler to bowl a yorker? Cricket, like any other game is a game of one-upmanship. Whosoever gets on top wins the moment (if not the match). In any case the switch hit is not a shot that will certainly yield a 4 or a 6. The batsman takes a huge risk when he goes for it and he also needs to be ambidextrous to do that. This is a shot that needs precise timing, lots of skill, power and most importantly "balls" (lol). I haven't seen the exact Dilshan-KP event but the bowler should be more watchful and have a slight pause to upset the batsman. Banning the shot or warning the batsman would be akin to banning Slash from coming up with a new sweep picking technique. Well played KP - A Saffer did it for Eng.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | April 5, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    hmm, switch hitting is difficult to entertain in MY OPINION ... because the field is not allowed to change ........

    believe it or not switch hitting is not that difficult... count how many right handed people bat left ........ every single one of them can play a switch hit easily....

    there are restrictions to bowlers , why should there not be restrictions for batsmen? I mean if they want to allow switch hitting then they should make underarm bowling legal again ....

    (never mind the under arm WC incident: if the ball bounces twice before reaching the batsman it should be a no-ball, the umpire messed up, and there was no need to ban the delivery)

  • POSTED BY Englishmanabroad on | April 5, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    The laughable thing about this whole debate is that, If a batsman attempts a switch hit and gets out in some (usually) embarassing way, we don't hear the objections of those who are opposed to the use of the switch hit. (Probably because they are drowned out by the laughter and geers of the same people cheering the very same wicket.) The truth is they are only opposed to the switch hit when it is being used by someone who has taken the time to learn how to execute it well.

  • POSTED BY Match-winner on | April 5, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    As some of our friends are suggesting, it doesn't say anywhere in this article that ICC has disallowed KP from hitting this shot, or even that during this match he was warned for playing this shot. He was merely warned for switching earlier than the bowler had started his delivery stride, nothing else! It was a warning against the timing of it, rather than the shot itself! This warning is not such a big thing, and it should be left at that.

  • POSTED BY topeleven on | April 5, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    I was bemused for the warning given to Pietersen. Its Dilshan who should have been warned as his backfoot landed on the bowling crease and pietersen was in same position not even changed the direction of his bat. ok coming to the point that bowlers should be allowed to change hands, first let anybody try it and then claim it. If switch hit is not an innovative shot how dil scoop can be innovative. Can a bowler pull off because Dilshan tries that often. Actually Pietersen is at great risk playing that shot and the bowler is having an advantage. he has taken out the option of negative bowling by bowlers when nothing is happening of the pitch. He doesn't need to be criticised if not appreciated. Had Tendulkar played that shot we would have written a book Matering the art of Reverse sweep. Such is the partiality shown by ICC.

  • POSTED BY Englishmanabroad on | April 5, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    To ham1990. No I think you are missing the point. While your description of the situation was almost completely accurate, it missed the mark at the point where you said "KP was violating that...", i.e. he was changing his stance before the bowlers delivery stride. After watching many slow motion synchronized replays, it was clear that KP was no "jumping the gun". The umpire was plain wrong when he issued the warning. If anything, the warning should have been issued to Dilshan for time wasting.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Hmm...I used to often change my bowling hand without informing the umpire or batsmen. Then again I used to only play in a very minor country league in the outback of Australia. Brings back some memories though of the look of surprise on the batter when all of a sudden I was hurtling a ball down left armed instead of the usual right arm

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | April 5, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Dear British fans, where are KP naysayers now? I did mention in my comment for the first test match report that KP will come good in the second test. Dear Nutcutlet, JG and some others, KP is a once in a generations player. I'm glad at least ECB is not scrutinising him as harshly and closely as some of you folks do. To KP, thanks for that awesome innings. It has been a privilege watching you, all these years and hope you will continue to mesmerise your fans for more years to come. Can we please leave KP alone and let him blossom and give it his all to cricket? Next, isn't it a shame that we should be debating about a shot that is as unique and progressive as switch-hit? Dear KP, what do you eat mate that you come up with such sublime innings of pure adrenaline? Blessed I am mate! Can't thank you more for that inning which is beyond my language. I can only see it and let it sink in. Bliss! Nirvana! You and Dravid are poles apart, but can't help but love you both for different reasons.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | April 5, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    KP Played a sublime inninngs ... pity he had not done so sooner against Pakistan ... as a Safrican ... He has done England proud again ... imagine what England would do without the Safricans in their side ...

  • POSTED BY SaudAlvi on | April 5, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Agree --@Posted by cyniket on (April 05 2012, 10:50 AM GMT) how pathetic is the bowler who doesn't see it as an opportunity to take a wicket? It strikes me as rather cowardly to pull out of the challenge. --

    Also what is the problem, make a rule that wide/lbw remain same as original stance or the benefit goes to the bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    The reason very few players play the switch hit is that its very difficult. That is also why the MCC have made it totally clear that is is and will continue to be a legal stroke. Pieterson got warned for moving into the stance a little too early, its not that big a deal.

  • POSTED BY ansram on | April 5, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    What is the prob with the switch hit? Looks fair to me.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Sri lanka paid the penalty of playing the useless fast bowlers...How can be select ed the bowlers over per wicket average is over 50 ahead of shamindra Eranga who is the best strike bowler produced by Sri lanka after Malinga & vassi..Can anybody say the secret of slecting the lakmal as the the number one fast bowling choice of Sri lanka in test cricket and number two opotion in ODIS a( next to Malinga)......Mr. Mahela ...we are interested in hear your comments on what basis Eranga has been left out from playing X1.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    this match heading for a draw, i can imagine at the hour before end 5th day England will be 5 for 80, and about switch hit, lets hear from ian chappen, i think he gotta point

  • POSTED BY Cricketencyclopedia on | April 5, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    ICC continues to introduce new laws that are absolutely ridiculous, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kevin Pietersen playing the switch hit. It's interesting that ICC officials want to talk about the ''Spirit of the game'' however, ICC is responsible for killing the spirit of the game with these ridiculous laws. The switch hit is an innovative way of playing the shots. Since that there is an issue with it then the reverse sweep & the dilshan scoop should also be disallowed.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Switching shot is disturbing the bowler indeed. ICC should bring laws to restrict this unusual shot. Even a bowler can't change from over to round the wicket or vice versa without mentioning to the umpire. This is for benefit of the batsman. Otherwise bowler should be given such benefit. But this shot very much entertaining, thats why for T20 and commercial benefit only ICC is not banning this wrong shot..

    Shilas

  • POSTED BY Switch_Hitter1 on | April 5, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Love the fact that after quite an awful display of batting by the Eng Test side over the past few months, when they decided to play more to their own strengths and not play ridiculous risky shots, the batting line (bar Bell at present) seem to have a lovely balance.

    I think from an umpiring perspective, as switch hitting is still a relatively unseen shot and especially in a Test it must be difficult to police the law when there is only a paragragh to refer to in the current law. It's a shame that the umpires didn't wave Dilshan and other Sri Lankans away and then refer to it during Tea with the third umpire for clarification on how they should be policing this.

    Fair play to KP for having the kahuna's to play the shot and shows that he is an entertainer who we all love when he connects, and critisise when he fails but Test cricket would be alot blander without the likes of him trying to take it to the opposition in his own style.

  • POSTED BY ham1990 on | April 5, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    I think most people are missing the point here!! I don't think anyone disputes that the switch-hit is a shot for extremely talented batsman, and KP is one of the stars of the international game (especially the ICC). The rules state that the batsman cannot change his stance before the bowler's delivery stride, and KP was violating that...yes it's a minor detail, but it wouldn't have hurt to have waited a couple more seconds and then play the shot. The ICC have said in the rules that it's fair play to the batsman if he can pull off such a high risk shot. So before anyone starts bashing Dilshan & Co and sub continent teams alike, the bowler is well within his limits to pull out of the delivery if the batsman violates this rule! However, I do concede that the rule can allow for this...

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Coaches should be banned from interfering with the umpires and officials. If there is a problem they should launch a complaint after the game without trying to influence the game while it is happening.

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | April 5, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    RIDICULOUS! May be we also need to warn bowlers for pausing before the delivery is bowled.. Pausing is disallowed in most sports but not in cricket where it plays a bigger role than in other sports..

  • POSTED BY waqtpk on | April 5, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    MCC's point of view makes no sense. The same logic can be used, to allow the bowler switch his hand without notification. It is exciting, it is difficult to execute for a bowler, risk for the bowler and its an opportunity for the batsman to score runs.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Its a fair shot if the bowler were allowed to change bowling hands. Cause of the difficulty of bowling with the wrong hand that should be allowed too. It'll give the batsmen a chance to hit it for 6. Double standards is what it is. The problem with the switch hit is that the fielders do not get the chance to move from their positions.

  • POSTED BY swapnilagarwal on | April 5, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @shiela....you got that right, #1 team, who has lost 4 games on the trot and I cannot remember the last time they won a test series in the subcontinent!

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | April 5, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    The ICC should recognise that this is in no way comparable to the bowler switching arms mid run up (never seen that btw). Poor showing from Dilshan and the umpires.

    Maybe there is some way we can introduce super-slow-mo to work out at which exact moment the batsman is allowed to switch stance...or maybe we can just get on with the game and welcome innovations of this sort?

    If we can change the laws to allow Muralis action to be lawful then we should do the same for this shot.

    Maybe Dilshan cant play the shot so he is jealous?

  • POSTED BY Realhotshady on | April 5, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    I believe that the changing the arms while bowling is a difficult bowl to execute and that it incurs a great deal of risk for the bowler. It also offers batsmen a good chance of hitting sixes and therefore I believe that this bowling is fair to both batsman and bowler."

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Ridiculous. Why don't we do away with stumps and have a plate that the ball travels over at the same height every ball? We can put foot marks for the batsmen... At any stage a batsman can walk down the wicket, move back in the crease, walk to the off or leg, move their hands up and down the handle, crouch, jump, sweep or reverse sweep but can't switch their hands? All this whining about the bowler having to declare their action - does the bowler tell the batsman if they're going to bowl outswing or inswing? Do they say whether they're going to land it on the off or leg? Bowl fast or slow? Bang it in short or full? No. The batsman is taking an *extraordinary* risk in attempting a switch hit - something so skillful that only a tiny percentage of even the best players in the world can pull it off. It's thrilling. The only thing that should be clarified is the wide and lbw rule. Rule out the leg side wide and leg side lbw rule for such a shot. Why not let a bowler switch to left handed?

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | April 5, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    switchhit is nonsense and unethical....and unfair on the fielding side. Good batsmen don't need this

  • POSTED BY sheila_4 on | April 5, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Just sour grapes from Dilshan who didn't like seeing his pies hit out the park by KP! Typical Aussie mentality. If you can't get him out fair and square, try something unsporting instead.

  • POSTED BY bigwonder on | April 5, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    I love the fact that Flower immediately went to match referee's room for clarification over the issue. Andy does not loose time, he loves to go to the match referee's room for any matter that is against England. ICC, can we please get a permanent seat for Andy in match referee's room whenever England is playing?

  • POSTED BY crikbuff on | April 5, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    It's time to outlaw the switch-hit. The bowler is not allowed to switch-bowl, so why should the batsmen have all privileges?

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | April 5, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I would be really interested if in the age of T20 some bowlers think about bowling with their other arm. I think only spinners might learn that and that too just a straight arm ball nothing fancy. But if somebody masters it, they should be treated just like KP would. Either the batsman and the bowler have to tell about switiching. Or neither of them does. You'd think in the shorter formats, not telling and instead surprising is part of the fun. Not as sure with Tests though.

  • POSTED BY burner1985 on | April 5, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    @aburrazzaq and HawK89, Dilshan acted within his right and I don't see any problem with it. In fact i don't see a problem with the switch hit as long as he doesn't change his grip or stance before the bowler delivers. Good chance to get him out? How many times has KP got out to a switch hit? It simply becomes a left handed sweep so what is so risky about it? Its not like he is attempting to do it to a pace bowler..

  • POSTED BY aracer on | April 5, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    @FAT_MAN - I thought the issue was that Pietersen has changed his grip more than once?

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | April 5, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Dilshan had every right to stop the delivery but why complain it to umpires? He is after all going to take 5-6 steps to go to his bowling mark.. Is there a big waste of time? I guess umpires over reacted on this occasion.. I am not sur ewhether its a legal or illegal shot but still, batsmen play many shots which are equally unorthodox and don't we know a shot called as DILSCOOP? What is it Mr.Dilshan?? Legal shot??

  • POSTED BY yoohoo on | April 5, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Well, all these people who are supporting the switch-hit, also need to explain why the same privilege should not be given to the bowlers? If the switch-hit is allowed, then the switch-bowl (coming in as a right hand bowler and bowling with the left or vice-versa) should also be allowed. The batsmen should look at it as an opportunity to face an easy ball, rather than being confused !!!

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | April 5, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    So many people here saying its unfair, sadly the MCC have stated that the Switch hit is a LEGAL shot, and within the Laws of the game, it is the ICC that have issued guidance to the contrary, even then that guidance is wishy washy, the batman can change his stance to play the shot once the bowler is in his delivery stride (Ie Back foot has landed), from the TV replays Dilshan had grounded his rear foot and was in delivery stride, thus KP should not have been warned. As far as Flower is concerned he has every right to ask for clarification on why his player is being penalised, Also most of the media went to the Match ref to clarify why he was being penalised.

  • POSTED BY baiju.shah on | April 5, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    It's more of a feedback then a comment. The header of this article says "Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rad day" with 3rd being misspelled as 3rad. I hope someone corrects it as I highly respect ESPNCricinfo and would hate to see the site being embarrassed with spelling mistakes.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | April 5, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Why would a bowler try to bowl left arm when he has spent his entire career bowling right handed? He would make a total mess of things! As would 99.9% of people attempting to play a switch hit. Perhaps bowlers should be allowed to go either over or around, but he'd have to talk to his captain first, who has already set the field

  • POSTED BY bonaku on | April 5, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    ICC rule is better and makes sense than what MCC says.

  • POSTED BY Javed_Munir_Dar on | April 5, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    KP has this habit, he needs to change himself, Sri Lankans were absolutely right to raise the objection

  • POSTED BY sheila_4 on | April 5, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Clutching at straws from SL. A sublime innings from KP, as you'd expect from a member of the no 1 test team in the world.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 5, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Personally, I would have no issue if the shot was disallowed because I do see the double standard when bowlers don't have the same freedom. As it's legal though, I don't really see the difference between what Pietersen was doing and a batsman backing away or stepping across, which many batsman do just as early.

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | April 5, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Another fascinating day of Test cricket. Pietersen was in top form. Dilshan had no chance with his gentle spin. So Dilshan reverted to different tactics: moaning. The umpires rather bizarrely agreed that the weak needed to be protected from the strong. So they warned Pietersen. Pietersen then responded sublimely by spanking the hapless Dilshan to all corners of the ground. Dilshan then understandably proceeded to lose his composure. Mahela had no choice but to take him off. That is why test cricket is entertainment of the highest calibre. There is always a battle going somewhere that is worthy of our attention.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    I find the whole switch hitting idea quite entertaining. The batsman is compromised technically whilst attempting the shot - so if I were bowling, I'd consider myself in the hunt to take a wicket! It's like the reverse sweep. It's a bit of a grey area too: What constitues a 'switch-hit'? To my mind, if a batsman is good enough to play it, let him. If he's good enough to smash it, let him. If he's silly enough to get out, let him look like a goose. Either outcome is entertaining.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    so what now we want to penalise brilliance in our great game??????

    pietersen has perfected this highly risky shot and should get benefit from it ... what will they do next ban the doosra causeits against the norm ?? absolutely farcical!

  • POSTED BY upper_tier on | April 5, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    The umpires were obviously wrong - and Dilshan was up to his usual tricks again. Watch the replays carefully, and you'll realise the umpires got it all wrong. Pietersen did not move his legs or change stance till Dilshan's back-foot landed...and once it landed he was perfectly within his rights to do so.

  • POSTED BY nathangonmad on | April 5, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    I don't see the problem, KP doing the switch hit gives the bowler a good opportunity to get a wicket.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    As a bowler, I think he should be allowed to play the shot, and the earlier the better. Gives you more time to adjust and bowl a fast yorker on his not preferred side. Just get him out, then he will stop :). Also, what if I run in and want to change the hand I bowl with???

  • POSTED BY Raiyan24r on | April 5, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    agree with cyniket.It was an opportunity to take a wicket.

  • POSTED BY _ZAR on | April 5, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    @Vineet and @cyniket: the bowler gets the time to decide where shld he pitch the ball but the rest of the fieldes do not get the time to change their positions :) so it is an unfair advantage to the batsman, in imo, if the batsman does it very early.

    @crying foul: dilshan did everything legal n KP's act actually was foul, that is why he was warned.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | April 5, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    @cyniket Then Perhaps you would not mind the bowler bowling from a foot inside the crease? Its against the rules to change the grip before delivery stride. What a cry baby this flower guy is. Have you ever seen any other coach go up to the match refree so many times?

  • POSTED BY Abdurrazaaq on | April 5, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    The batsman clearly places himself in a disadvantaged state by playing the "switch hit", I would love bowling to a batsman that tries that as it would give me a great chance of taking his wicket! Absolute nonsense of Dilshan and Sri lanka to act this way

  • POSTED BY jgoogly on | April 5, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Do not spoil cricket. When it is not fair you use the phrase ' It is not cricket'. I do not hear or see anyone using it now a days. Switch hit is unfair. it is the most ugliest shot and played by batters who cannot play elegant shots like cover drive st drive leg glance etc

  • POSTED BY fadms on | April 5, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Whatever benefits my team... I like. KP should be penalised. Go Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY HawK89 on | April 5, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    A good bowler would aim at leg stump and get him out, not pitch where he wants it and complain.

  • POSTED BY sportofpain on | April 5, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    The problem with this is that the field has been set for a right hand batsman and if he changes his grip too early, he has got the advantage of exploiting the field setting for a right hand batsman. If he takes a left handers guard, then the bowler will set the field accordingly. He does not do that and therefore is 'cheating'.

    It is for the same reason that once the field is set, the fielders don't change positions as the bowler is coming in to bowl.

    Now if he does that later, ie change his stance as the bowler is about to deliver the ball, his risk is higher so ICC thinks that that is ok. It is a fair call and the stroke does add to innovation so this is fine

  • POSTED BY Ropsh on | April 5, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    Dilshan was completely right to stop. KP was cheating by changing his grip during Dilshan's run up, and was quite correctly warned for it.

  • POSTED BY SMadampege on | April 5, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Switch hit is really unfair in any means. Because before a bowler bowls a delivery, he has set a field to a right handed batsman and suddenly batsman changes his style for a left handed batsman and vice versa. This must be banned. Who says bowler can easily dismisses a batsman who is trying for a switch hit? It's very difficult to negociate for a bowler. I accept that switch hit is very entertain. But at the same time, it demolishes bowler's mind set totally. So personally, I strongly disagree with switch hit and should be immediately banned. Reverse sweep is more legimate shot instead of switch hit because batsman can change his style after bowler bowls the delivery. So I like reverse sweep and hate for switch hit.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | April 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    It was ridiculous anyway because each time Dilshan pulled up he was already into his delivery stride and it was him that should have been warned for time wasting, KP was fully entitled to do what he did, the umpires got it very wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    I personally think that the switch-hit is fine, but anyone who takes on Pietersen is O.K. in my books! :D

  • POSTED BY bravetigersmustwin on | April 5, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Penalty of 5 runs... really funny. Looks like street cricket rules .... Lankans will welcome such silly rules

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

    The bowler has no right to dictate which strokes the batsman plays or doesn't play! That the umpire threatened a penalty against the batsman in this case is an absurdity!The switch hit adds to the game.What an irony it would be if sub-continent teams and officials ban the switch hit, when so many of their bowlers are now allowed to effectively throw the ball while bolwing. Bending your arm while bowling is lame cheating, but switch hitting is innovation at its best. If the ICC ban it because of sub-continent teams complaining (because none of their players is good enough to do it) I will be totally disgusted. It should have been Dilshan who was penalised in this instance. Why was the batsman penalised when he wasn't breaking any laws? What if Dilshan doesn't like the batsman leaving his crease to change the effective pitch of the ball? Is he going to refuse to bowl then too? Just nuts. Now we have teams telling officials what to do, and making new laws up as they please.

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

    The only ugly thing about this incident is Andy Flower's visit to the match referee's room. He should be banned for 3 months or heavily fined for trying to influence the decision of match referee.

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

    Andy Flower goes to the match referee a lot.

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

    Come on ICC!!! What a stupid law!! Knowing KP he can play 50% of his shots as reverse sweep and send the bowlers to the cleaners.... This law should abolished!

  • POSTED BY pom_don on | April 5, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Just shows how scared folk are of KP any half decent bowler should see it as a chance to get him out, are they to ban googlies or back of the hand balls next? If you look at replays the bowler should have been warned as he had already landed his foot on two of the occasions making KP's shot totally legal......SL acting like school kids they were being stuffed big style....just accept it!

  • POSTED BY yoogi on | April 5, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Switch Hit or any other shot where batsman moves a lot before delivery, is perfectly legal provided, the bowler is excempted from legside wide as off- as offside ones and bouncers as good as at shoulder level, even if it is the second one for that over. This will provide some relief to the bowler, and if batsman fails to connect a legside ball, he will not get wide, as that's how a bowler could get some protection.

  • POSTED BY rohan024 on | April 5, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    can't believe in a world, where Murali, Ajmal, Harbhajan, Botha, Akhtar could be allowed to ball, ICC is disallowing switch hits...Its a special talent, which very very few possess and on top of it these players take humongous amount of risk while playing switch hit shots..It should be allowed most certainly...KP is a legend, he will still score tons of runs without this shot..This kiddish behaviour by Lankans will only hurt his ego and he ll make Lankans pay for it..

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    So MCC, if there are three slips in place and the batsman switches from right to left-handed wouldn't this automatically create a no-ball for having three men behind square on the leg-side?

  • POSTED BY Capitalist_Cricketer on | April 5, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    I agree on the legal dogmas being created due to the switch hit but in the bigger picture its entertainment and a signature shot similar to the the dilshan scoop over the keepers head. Guys lets not take sides on this one and just applaud the entertainment for a change. Id love to see KP do that to Malinga to be honest...and ofcourse my money is on Malinga yorking him clean !

  • POSTED BY squidhead on | April 5, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Wow...if you're good enough to play the shot (or more to the point if you THINK you're good enough to play it) then go ahead. You want to be a test class bowler, suck it up and deal with it. I'm pretty sure Lillee, Marshall, McGrath, Akram or Warne would have dealt with it well enough. A five run penalty is ridiculous. You may as well penalise a batter for charging down the wicket or having a slightly higher than usual backlift. Terrible law change, and I say that as cricket supporter - I am no fan of England or Pietersen.

  • POSTED BY ListenToMe on | April 5, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    If MCC approved switch hit, they should approve right and left hand bowling as and when the bowler wishes. As simple as that.

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

    Switch hit should be illegal. As it is cricket is way too batsmen friendly. We donot need this non-sense!

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    Switch hit is a innovation and nobody should be stopped from playing it. So far KP is concerned, he's the best exponent of this shot and if any1 wants him to stops him from playing that shot, that's sheer jealous and nothing else. Like Deepak Chopra said here in comment: the only way to stop pietersen from playing hat shot!

  • POSTED BY Satyarth on | April 5, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    dilshan should not have had problems with KP's switch hitting as he was swapping his instance very early...but i would like to make a point that this is unfair to the bowler...they too are humans...y r they expected to adapt n adjust demselves in all conditions...if switch hitting is legal for the batsmen...SWITCH DELIVERING should also be made legal..and everyone will agree that d latter z far more difficult to execute!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY murthydn16 on | April 5, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    .......Then a bowler should be allowed to bowl left arm, right arm, pace, spin, swing, round the wicket, around the wicket etc if switch hit is allowed. When a batsman can change his stance, grip with out informing the umpire, then bowler should also be allowed to bowl as they wish with out informing the umpire. Cricket is heavily in favor of batsman and it does give a level playing ground for bowlers and batsman.

  • POSTED BY FoollyFedUp on | April 5, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Can a bowler suddenly change his delivery stride to over the wicket , or bowl left arm without notice. The switch-hit is illegal and totally unfair.

  • POSTED BY bharath74 on | April 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Nothing wrong in playing the shot, the bowler should make adjustments accordingly before delivering rather than complaining. Switch hit is a gr8 shot and Umpires should not stop and Srilankans should stop complaining, I think it is perfectly legal shot.

  • POSTED BY cricTorque on | April 5, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    When Sri Lankans add their slingers and bent arm geniuses, world must bow and congratulate them on adding value to cricket. Others inventing a exciting shot is nonsense. This Sri Lankan cricket team, particularly Dilshan is appallingly unsporting. Coming from a team which invented most exciting players like Murli and Malinga who though tested the boundaries of the rules of cricket, have made it immensely more enjoyable, is a real shame.

  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | April 5, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    CI says in the headline....Umpires threaten with a 5 run penalty....sorry...threaten is not the right word....but either CAUTION or WARN....shows the writers on this site have a pro-Eng bias....when in fact they should be reproting neutrally and factually

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | April 5, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Ban Dilscoop too, comon playing with reverse grip helps a good bowler to take the wicket. Oh Dilshan feeling heat of getting pounded. Switch hit should continue for beauty of game, why not ban doosra then, which most look like a throw. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | April 5, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    KP did nothing out of the ordinary, it was the bowler who didn't want to get smacked for 4. Why not put a fielder there to stop the switch hit??

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Lets introduce a rule to allow bowlers to freely change their bowling arm during the course of delivery stride without announcing it to the umpire and batsmen in advance. Lets introduce a rule to allow bowlers to change their guard from over to around the wicket and vice versa without informing the umpire in advance. That will make it a level playing field with same rules for both batsmen and bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Switch hit needs talent. Don't suppress it please

  • POSTED BY FAT_MAN on | April 5, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Seems like Pietersen changes his grip as often as he changes his country

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 5, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    this is absolute nonsense. Surely the shot should either be outlawed or be allowed. If the shot is illegal then the batsman should not be able score runs from it and if it is not illegal he should. The fact that he is getting warned for a shot which has scored a number of valid runs from is an utter nonsense. Either allow the shot (pre meditated or not) or don't allow it. From a cricketing point of view surely it is a batsman picking his wits vs a bowler and vice versa and if the batsman is talented enough to play such a shot a bowler worth his salt should be able to bowl a delivery which negates the shot or even puts the batsman in trouble. You could have a rule which brings the left handed LBW into play for the right handed shot if you think the switchhit is too much in the batsman's favour etc.. I just think that cricket is also an entertainment business and people pay money to watch guys like KP , Kholi , Warner , Mccullam , Afridi , Dilshan , Gayle , AB etc.

  • POSTED BY kamran.afzal on | April 5, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    I think switch hit should be allowed. I agree with MCC. It is an exciting and a difficult shot. A batsman's offside and legside should remain what they are for his normal stance (or whatever stance he had before the delivery stride), and the wide and lbws etc. should be decided based on that.

  • POSTED BY wrighty1012 on | April 5, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    dilshan would have had an easy wicket if he just speared in a yorker haha

  • POSTED BY ham1990 on | April 5, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    I think this rule is completely fair. I mean it's ridiculous that Pietersen should think he can get away with changing his stance before the bowler is in his delivery stride. However, after that it's fair play to the batsman if he can pull off the shot successfully and it gives the bowler a chance to take a wicket due to the high risk factor... but Pietersen is an absolute gem!

  • POSTED BY Perera32 on | April 5, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @cyniket: The Bowler had every right to pull out. If the batsmen changes his stance well before the bolwer had even put his back leg down to bowl the delivery, then the bolwer has every right to pull out. It's like the bowler changing to around the wicket without informing the batsmen or umpires.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    The bowler is in this case is 'Special' he should be banned from bowling...

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | April 5, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Well.. Switch hit might be a good addition for batting.. But at the same time, remove all the rules of wide and LBW for that.. No wides for switch hit even if bowler bowls it out of the pitch.. If it is going to hit stumps, it is LBW.. No leg stump of no hit outside the line rules anymore.. Make it same for reverse sweep too.. It is perfect argument that it is a risky shot but still, make the batsman pay for the risk they take..

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | April 5, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    I wouldn't dismiss this in the flat earth style of pauliangenius. I think this is a fascinating debate that's worth having. Difficult because the whole 'before enters delivery stride' can be ambiguous. But i don't think cricket is in a position to cling grimly to every single 'tradition'. This is an exciting shot played with great difficulty by a very small number of players. Give it a chance.

  • POSTED BY PACERONE on | April 5, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    Batsmen who think that they are so good should be allowed to switch hit if they remove their helmets and all that protection they use.Then the other team should be allowed to use 4 fast bowlers and no penalty for slow bowling rate.Lets see them switch Morkel and Broad,Edwards Lee and the other good fast bowlers.Take away the restrictions on bumpers per over too.Lets play this game tough.

  • POSTED BY LittleRed93 on | April 5, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    I believe Dilshan was already in his delivery stride when KP switched his hands over. Therefore he has every right to play the shot. Pathetic from the SL's and the Umpires. There are more important things to worry about than whether allowing someone to play a very high risk shot or not!

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | April 5, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Fair play to Kp for his flair, if any batsman wants to liven things up with innovation they should not be getting penalised. At the end of the day it stopped a defensive leg stump line tactic. Thanks to the DRS we have just about got rid of paddin away from the game, let's not take a step backwards now we have made one forwards.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    Then allow "switch ball" too

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I think we should move the English camp next to the match referee's as it would be much convenient for Andy.

  • POSTED BY jim152 on | April 5, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    What a valuable and informed input that was, pauliangenius.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    the only way to stop pietersen from playing that shot...hahaha..great idea

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Switching from left to right or right to left is disturbing the bowler indeed. ICC should bring laws to restrict this unusual shot. Even a bowler can't change from over to round the wicket or vice versa otherwise mentioned to the umpire. This is for benefit of the batsman. Simillarly bowler should be given such benefit. But I like this shot very much!!

  • POSTED BY bMike on | April 5, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    Pietersen should be banned for 5 test matches

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    The earlier the batsman changes the stance to switch hit... more time bowler gets to decide where he needs to keep the ball for getting the wicket !!! So its perfectly valid.... N i don know why Dilshan was having problem with it... SL could have got KP much earlier... !!

  • POSTED BY cyniket on | April 5, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    how pathetic is the bowler who doesn't see it as an opportunity to take a wicket? It strikes me as rather cowardly to pull out of the challenge.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    This is ridiculous...in my view KP was merely changing the grip, he did not change his footwork. Perhaps if he had changed his stance while the delivery was taking place then the Sri Lankans would have had a point, but to me this sounds like pathetic wailing. It's ironic how in days of yore the Sri Lankans would be accused of not paying in the spirit of the game, and now they're crying foul? All that can be said is that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones!!

  • POSTED BY pauliangenius on | April 5, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    swith hit is absolute nonsense

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY pauliangenius on | April 5, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    swith hit is absolute nonsense

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    This is ridiculous...in my view KP was merely changing the grip, he did not change his footwork. Perhaps if he had changed his stance while the delivery was taking place then the Sri Lankans would have had a point, but to me this sounds like pathetic wailing. It's ironic how in days of yore the Sri Lankans would be accused of not paying in the spirit of the game, and now they're crying foul? All that can be said is that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones!!

  • POSTED BY cyniket on | April 5, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    how pathetic is the bowler who doesn't see it as an opportunity to take a wicket? It strikes me as rather cowardly to pull out of the challenge.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    The earlier the batsman changes the stance to switch hit... more time bowler gets to decide where he needs to keep the ball for getting the wicket !!! So its perfectly valid.... N i don know why Dilshan was having problem with it... SL could have got KP much earlier... !!

  • POSTED BY bMike on | April 5, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    Pietersen should be banned for 5 test matches

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Switching from left to right or right to left is disturbing the bowler indeed. ICC should bring laws to restrict this unusual shot. Even a bowler can't change from over to round the wicket or vice versa otherwise mentioned to the umpire. This is for benefit of the batsman. Simillarly bowler should be given such benefit. But I like this shot very much!!

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    the only way to stop pietersen from playing that shot...hahaha..great idea

  • POSTED BY jim152 on | April 5, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    What a valuable and informed input that was, pauliangenius.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I think we should move the English camp next to the match referee's as it would be much convenient for Andy.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    Then allow "switch ball" too