Australia vs India: Pundits divided over switch-hit

“Oooooooh! Shot of this series, don’t worry about that,” the animated commentators squealed from the box at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, as they went on, “that’s a ridiculous shot, wow, wrong handed.” Their elevated voices simmered down gradually as the ball went on to the crowd for a humongous six. “Unfair!” These were the words of the commentators during the 3rd ODI between Australia and India on Wednesday. Glenn Maxwell’s breath-taking switch-hit has cooked up a storm among the pundits. Why?

Chasing 300, the hosts lost 6 wickets and had 66 more to get off 46. Maxwell, along with Ashton Agar was looking poised to finish the job himself. Kuldeep’s 3rd delivery of the 43rd went for a whopping six over the deep backward point. What’s so special about it. A right-handed batsman switch hitting the ball out of the park. Although Aaron Finch’s men conceded the last ODI by 13 runs, Maxwell’s blistering 59 off 38 became the topic of discourse.

Declared as a legitimate shot by the apex cricket governing body International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2012, the pundits were divided into two spheres post Wednesday’s game.

Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell opined while talking to World Wide of Sports, “It’s not fair. It’s very simple. If the batsman changes the order of his hands or his feet (when the bowler runs in), then it’s an illegal shot.” Chappell reportedly urged ICC to ban the shot.

Former Australian leggie, Shane Warne too denounced the switch-hit as he expressed to Fox Sports, “I’m setting a field to right-hand batsman, so now when they switch-hit, I’m actually bowling to a left-hand batsman. I’m not sure I like it.”

On the other hand, the former Aussie wicketkeeper, Ian Healy and umpire Simon Taufel are against the notion of prohibiting the shot.

Maxwell quipped after the match, “It’s within the laws of the game. I think batting has evolved in such a way that it’s just got better and better over the years which is why we’re seeing these massive scores getting chased down and scores are going up.”

“I suppose it’s up to the bowlers to try and combat that, and the skills of bowlers are being tested every day. They’re having to come up with different change-ups and different ways to stop batters, and with the way, they shut down one side of the ground and what-not.”

“I suppose the way that batting is evolving, I think bowling has got to evolve to the same stage, so you see guys come up with knuckleballs and wide-yorker fields and different tactics,” he added.