This shot's origin is attributed to Kevin Pietersen in a one-day international against New Zealand in 2008 when he effectively changed from a right-hander to a left-hander just before the ball was delivered by the bowler. A more recent example is by David Warner against India in a ODI in February this year when he creamed Ashwin for 100m. Also earlier this year it was the subject of controversy between Sri Lanka and England when Dilshan consistently pulled out of his bowling action when he apprehended KP was about to set up for the switch hit. Administrators are in something must be done mode.
What does FB make of the evidence?
Is the switch hit skilful? Yes, swapping hands and swapping feet position while watching the ball and preparing to hit all seems pretty skilful to FB.
Is the switch hit risky? FB assumes there are occasions when the batter has tried it and failed - maybe even getting out but these are not reported.
But the game should reward risk taking and skill so these 2 factors tell in favour of the switch hit.
Is the switch hit exciting? If big hits are your bag then it is exciting - but sixes are devalued currency in international cricket with thunderbats and shorter boundaries. So the evidence here is unconvincing.
|David Warner switch hitting|
Bowlers can see when a batsman is going to come down the wicket to them and can frequently adjust. Similarly they can see a batsman backing away to give themselves room and can follow them or put it wider down off side. Being aware of the batter is part of bowling. The movement to switch hit must be larger than either of these. Perhaps if the bowler is aware of switch hitting as a possibility - and it remains very rare - then they will more attuned to it. So while FB's natural sympathy is to the bowler he is not wholly convinced here. Perhaps more latitude should be given on the interpretation of a wide, but that is about interpretation and not the laws and that is as far as FB would go.
Would FB employ the switch hit? Most certainly.
Could FB switch hit? Not if he practiced for the rest of the century. He can barely hit the ball with his hands and his feet firmly placed in their original position. At present it remains a Any attempt to curb the shot seems only an expression of jealously.
So, FB remains marginally in favour of the switch hit and is unconvinced that the rules need too much tampering. His worldwide readership should note that this opinion is likely to last only until the stroke appears in the lower leagues of the East of Scotland Cricket Association. The day it is used against his world famous inswinger, FB will campaign tirelessly for rules changes. If necessary this will involve the hands of batsmen being glued in one position.
In the lower leagues the rules changes will have to reflect the fact that many batsmen have no idea whether they are right handed or left handed in the first place. There is therefore much for administrators to ponder.