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Warner's switch hit ignites debate

Press Trust Of India
Feb 02, 2012 at 09:14pm IST

Melbourne: Explosive Australian batsman David Warner's sensational 100m switch hit for a six in the first Twenty20 International against India in Sydney has reignited debate over the legality of the shot.

Former Australia Test captain Mark Taylor, who is a member of the ICC cricket committee that advises on rules, argued for four years that the stroke should be outlawed and he still feels it was unfair to 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.

Warner's switch hit ignites debate

Mark Taylor had previously stated that stroke should be outlawed and is unfair to the bowlers.

"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 Test bowler Damien Fleming is among those who like the entertainment value of the shot that has the potential to revolutionise the sport.

"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 he has no issues with switch-hit but believes the rules need to be tinkered to give the bowler the upper hand.

"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.

Warner defended himself in a series of tweets.

"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's Kevin Pietersen was the first to play the shot back in 2008 against New Zealand, but Warner has now taken over the mantle as the king of the stroke, hitting some mammoth sixes for NSW in the Twenty20 Champions League last year and again against India off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.

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