India batting legend and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has backed the controversial ‘switch hit’, an unorthodox shot employed by few modern batters that involves changing the stance and grip as the bowler is about to delivery the ball. Also Read - Glenn Maxwell Has Taken RCB 'Like Duck to Water', AB de Villiers 'Loves' The Team: Captain Virat Kohli
In simpler words, a right-hander plays the shot as a left-hander and vice-versa. Also Read - IPL 2021: AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell Shine as Royal Challengers Bangalore Beat Kolkata Knight Riders to Complete Hat-Trick of Wins
The shot has drawn sharp criticism from the likes of former Australia captain Ian Chappell who wants it to be banned as it’s unfair on the fielding team. But Ganguly feels the game has moved on and doesn’t see any reason why it should be made illegal. Also Read - Virat Kohli's Reaction to Glenn Maxwell's Fifty During RCB-KKR IPL 2021 Game Wins Internet | WATCH VIDEO
“The game has moved on, so I don’t see we can take away this popular stroke from the modern-day batsmen,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by Mid Day. “You require a lot of strength to play such courageous shot. Apart from timing and feet movement, a lot of other things are required to play this stroke. Kevin Pietersen was the first to play this shot. Also David Warner’s name should come here. It’s a very good shot if you can hit it nicely.”
The shot became a major talking point during the recent ODI series between India and Australia when Glenn Maxwell played it on several occasions.
In response to it, Chappell said the cricket administrators should ensure reasonable balance between bat and ball.
“One of the main tasks of a cricket administrator is to frame laws that maintain a reasonable balance between bat and ball. If the laws or playing conditions favour one or the other unfairly then the game becomes a diminished contest,” Chappell wrote for ESPNcricinfo.
However, former umpire Simon Taufel reckons it’s impossible to ban the shot.
“The game of cricket is not a science, it’s an art. We’re not perfect,” Taufel, a former ICC Elite Panel umpire, was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
“When we say that we want to ban that type of shot how does the umpire officiate that? It’s impossible. The umpire has an enormous number of decisions – front foot, back foot, protected area, seeing where a ball is hit – it’s impossible to have an official then watch for the changing of the grip or stance. It’s an impossible ask for a standing umpire to make that determination. We can’t make a law that we can’t apply,” he added.
As far as ICC rules go, the shot is legitimate.