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Australia v India

‘Unfair’ – Harsha Bhogle sides with Ian Chappell in switch-hit debate

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Harsha Bhogle has sided with Ian Chappell in the switch-hit debate after the former Australia captain called for the ICC to make the shot ‘illegal’.

Chappell, while heaping praise on the Australian batting in the recently concluded ODI series against India, caused quite a stir by pointing out why he thinks the switch-hit, which has been used extensively by Glenn Maxwell and David Warner in the series, was unfair on the bowlers.

“The Australian batting has been exceptional,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports. “They’ve made it look pretty easy… particularly Smith and Maxwell, some of the shots he plays are hard to believe. (Switch-hit) is amazingly skilful – but it’s not fair.

“It’s very simple. Maxwell hit a couple of (switch-hit) shots and Warner did… All you’ve got to say is that if the batsman changes the order of his hands or his feet (as the bowler runs in), then it’s an illegal shot.

“How can one side of the game, i.e. the bowlers, they have to tell the umpire how they’re going to bowl. And yet the batsman, he lines up as a right-hander – I’m the fielding captain, I place the field for the right-hander – and before the ball’s been delivered, the batsman becomes a left-hander.

“If he’s good enough to do it by excellent footwork or whatever other means he can devise, I don’t have a problem with it. But when it’s blatantly unfair, it annoys the hell out of me,” the former Australia captain added.

Bhogle, in a series of tweets, echoed Chappell’s sentiments, even stating that he “would love one day to see a right handed bowler running in and suddenly bowling left handed without informing the umpire or the batsman”.

He also explained the difference between the reverse sweep and switch-hit, highlighting the change of grip in the latter, which makes a right-handed batsman left-handed and vice versa, forcing the bowler to bowl to “a different kind of batsman”.

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