Colombo, Apr 5: The debate over switch hit has returned. This time it is during a Test match between England and Sri Lanka. The man in the spotlight is England batsman Kevin Pietersen as he was warned by on-field umpires during the second Test on Thursday.
Pietersen's attempts to change his stance for a switch hit resulted in being warned by the umpires Asad Rauf of Pakistan and Australia's Bruce Oxenford. Pietersen, who hit his 20th Test century, made 151.
The right-hander, who scored a century at the P. Sara Oval against Sri Lanka on Thursday, tried for switch hits against offspinner Tillakaratne Dilshan. However, his attempts were unsuccessful as Dilshan stopped in his delivery stride after he spotted Pietersen trying to change his stance.
A switch hit is the one when a right-hander changes his batting grip into a left-hander's one and gains unfair advantage over the bowler. A batsman can change his stance and play the shot, according to the laws of the game. But he cannot do so before the bowler has delivered the ball.
It is unfair for the bowlers as they have to inform the umpire before bowling right-handed or left.
The umpires warned Pietersen and said Sri Lanka would be awarded five penalty runs if he or any other England batsman did so again. Match referee Javagal Srinath of India confirmed the incident.