“Switch Hit Should Be Banned Completely”: Former New Zealand Star

Switch hit is one shot that still attracts polarising opinions, with some having the opinion that the shot gives undue advantage to the batters. Earlier this week, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had said that the batters should be adjudged LBW even if the ball pitches outside leg stump while trying to play the switch hit. Now, former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris has said that the switch hit should be banned completely and the batter should not be able to change the position of his hands and feet.

Speaking on SPORTS18’s daily sports news show ‘SPORTS OVER THE TOP’, Styris said: “Well, I sort of gotta go back half a step here. I loved a lot of the points that Ashwin made. I completely disagreed with all his solutions. I actually think even though we just had some fun with the switch hit, I think the switch hit should be banned completely. There are rules for captains and bowlers in terms of where their fieldsmen can be, how many behind point, how many on the leg side, all of these things.”

“So, I don’t think a batsman should be able to change his hands over and I don’t believe he should be able to change his feet. You can play the reverse sweep or the reverse hit if you like but I don’t like this. In terms of the hands, Kevin Pietersen has completely flipped around as a lefthander. If you take away the switch hit, but allow all the reverse sweeps and reverse hits, then I think you don’t have to worry about the LBW law that Ashwin is talking about. And it allows a fair contest between the bowler and the batsman as well,” he added.

As per current MCC Laws, a player cannot be given LBW even if the ball is going onto hit the stumps if it pitches outside leg-stump.

“My question is not whether he can play reverse sweep or not, whether it’s negative bowling strategy or not (bowling outside leg stump), my point is about LBW. It’s unfair that it’s not ruled LBW,” Ashwin had said on his YouTube channel.

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“Let batters play the switch hit, but give us LBW when they miss. How can you say it is not LBW when the batter turns? If they start giving that out in all formats of the game, some parity could be retained between bowling and batting,” he added.

Switch hit is one shot that first surfaced when England batter Kevin Pietersen had started playing the shot and he had famously played this shot against New Zealand off the bowling of Styris.

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