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All you need to know about switch hits and the controversy around it

In the ICC rules and regulations there is no specific rule related to switch hits as per the current time. A new debate is now started whether switch hits should be allowed or not.

Last updated: 06.12.2020
Glenn Maxwell and Switch Hits controversey | Sports Social Blog

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With the end of white-ball cricket series (ODI) there is hardly anything for the tourist team (India) to cheer for as Australia team has won the ODI series by 2-1 single handedly on the back of their dominating batting performances throughout the series from David Warner to Aaron Finch to Steve Smith and the big match player Glenn Maxwell. In the first two ODIs Australian have posted over 370 runs while opposition has failed to chase the target and lost the series.


However in the final game of ODI series, Australia has rested their key players while David Warner was injured (who will also not be the part of T20l series but returns before the start of test series) and Australia has lost the final ODI by 11 runs at Canberra to end their winning streak at the venue. Even the frontline bowler for Australia Mitchell Starc was not having a good ODI series after the return but that was completely overshadowed by their series victory.



In all these things there comes a controversy when one of the Australian players Glenn Maxwell was criticised by the former players like Ian Chappell and Michael Holding for the use of “Switch hits” in the ODI series against India. With the poor IPL 2020 season earlier, Glenn Maxwell returned to his ideal form with his crazy batting style against India where he smashed the balls all over the ground be it as a reverse sweep or switch hits. Glenn Maxwell switch hits was the highlight of white-ball cricket series.


After the first two ODI games Glenn Maxwell used his “switch hits” batting ability to score runs which Ian Chappell believed and later said,


“How can one side of the game, ie. 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," Ian Chappell said.


"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," he added


Ian Chappell even believed that pitches of modern era more batsman friendly without having any advantage to the bowlers from our times when the pitches were bowling-friendly and further added


“I've always thought that the pitches have been a little bit that way in one-day cricket, for a long time. The essence of the game, a good game of cricket is where there's a contest. When it becomes just purely an exercise in [batting] statistics, I don't enjoy it too much. If you want to make the pitches pretty flat, OK, T20, I'd maybe accept that. But outside of that, the best games of cricket are when the bowler's got a chance," Chappell said


After the third ODI game, the former West Indies fast bowler joined this controversy of switch hits and said it's completely unfair to a bowler when batsman score runs through switch hits. In the interaction over his YouTube channel Michael Holding said


“I have absolutely no problem with the reverse sweep as we have seen so many batsmen play it quite well. But for the switch-hit, I am in Ian Chappell's camp where that is a concern," Michael Holding said on his Youtube channel


Here is that Switch hit played Glenn Maxwell against Kuldeep Yadav in the 3rd ODI at Canberra –


It's completely unfair when a batsman changes his batting stance in the middle of the over as it affects the fielding totally along with the bowler.


“I don't see why you should allow a batsman to change from right to a left-handed or left to a right-hander just at a click of a 'switch'. Just like a bowler, you can't just switch in the middle of an over."


Michael Holding added:


"If you are reverse sweeping, you can rotate your legs or your wrists on the bat. Do whatever you want in that regard but once you switch the positioning of your hands and once your bottom hand becomes your top hand (and vice versa), that's what I am against. I don't think that should be legal. I have no problem with the reverse sweep and Maxwell can play both."




Completely not when Kevin Piterson did the same against Sri Lanka in a test match in 2006. The same controversy took place that time and even during the 2012 test match against the same team when Kevin Piterson smashed 151, in between innings he was being warned by the on field umpires about his stance against the bowler.


"The warning was because I was moving my hands before delivery, but it was no issue. It's a pretty good shot and a scoring option. I'll play that side of the wicket when there's no fielders there,” Pietersen had told BBC Sport back then, defending the shot


In the ICC rules and regulations there is no specific rule related to switch hits as per the current time.


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