Opinions divided on Warner's switch hit legality

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Published: Friday, February 3, 2012, 13:14 [IST]
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Debate over Warner's switch hit

Melbourne, Feb 2: Australian opener David Warner's switch hit has raised many questions over the legality of the shot. Warner smashed a 100m switch hit for six in the first Twenty20 International against India in Sydney.

Former Australia Test captain and a member of the ICC cricket committee Mark Taylor, argued for several years the the shot should be ruled out said it is unfair for the bowlers.

"Unfortunately I have lost the battle at ICC level. I know people see it from a marketing point of view as an attractive skill and for a bloke like Davey Warner to hit a ball right-handed 100m is wonderful.

"But I think it is unfair. I don't think it is right for a batsman to change his stance. It's unfair to the bowlers. It's important to maintain the balance between bat and ball and this gives the batsman an unfair advantage," Taylor was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

But former Australia bowler Damien Fleming likes the shot and has the potential to bring changes in the game.

"You have to allow it, it is fantastic. Let the bowlers bowl with either hand, let it open up. I love these new skills that are coming into the game and if the batsman is taking a risk, well the bowler still has a good advantage," he said.

Another former Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz said there is no problem with switch hit but feels the rules must be automatically changed to give an advantage to the bowler.

"He's more than welcome to do that, but on two conditions. One: the ball cannot be deemed to be pitching outside leg stump for an lbw," he said.

"And the second one is, the benefit of the doubt should then go to the bowler. If the batsman decides to switch hit, the umpire should drop the outside leg rule and the benefit of the doubt should then go in favour of the bowler, not the batsman. If that happens, they're more than welcome to do it," Kasprowicz said.

Meanwhile, Warner said via twitter there is no problem with the shot, "In my mind I think it's OK to do so because we get out we are out, the bowler gets hit and he still has five deliveries," he said.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen was the first to hit the shot back in 2008 against New Zealand, but Warner has taken over after smashing many sixes for NSW in the Twenty20 Champions League last year and again against India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.


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