Cricket icon Shane Warne has shared his thoughts on the switch-hitting debate, fuelling controversial comments made by former Australian captain Ian Chappell.
After Glenn Maxwell exploited India’s pace bowlers with the innovative shot during Australia’s one-day games at the SCG, Chappell voiced his frustration to nine.com.au.
“(Bowlers) have to tell the umpire how they’re going to bowl. And yet the batsman, he lines up as a right-hander … and before the ball’s been delivered, the batsman becomes a left-hander,” Chappell said this week.
“One of the main reasons why he’s becoming a left-hander is so he can take advantage of those field placings. I’d love the administrators who made those laws, I’d love them to explain to me how that’s fair.”
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Chappell encouraged India’s players to revolt against the practice by challenging the on-field umpire.
“If I’m captain, I’m going to take the ball myself and I’m going to tell the umpire, ‘I’m bowling right-arm over,’ and then I’m going to run in and bowl around,” Chappell said.
“Obviously the umpire’s going to complain, and I’m going to say, ‘Well, you stop him doing something I think is totally unfair, and I’ll stop doing something unfair’.”
Glenn Maxwell of Australia.Source: Getty Images
But former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy delivered a rebuttal while speaking to 1170 SEN Breakfast on Wednesday morning.
“I think bowlers have got to be a little bit better, they’ve got to be more aware,” Healy claimed.
“Last minute changes for the bowlers aren’t that great at the moment, but they’ll get better at that.
“But it is tricky, it’s very tricky.
“Let the batters do it, not many are doing it well, but the one’s that do are incredible entertainers.”
Speaking during the innings break on Fox Cricket, former Australian spin bowler Kerry O’Keefe explained why he had no quarrels with the practice.
“I wouldn’t mind people trying to switch-hit me, because I reckon it’s a higher-risk shot,” O’Keefe said. “It’s not against the Laws.
“Running in right-handed over the wicket and bowling around the wicket is illegal. It’s outside the Laws.
“Switch-hitting is inside the Laws, and it’s entertaining. I like it.”
Former Australian spin bowler Shane Warne.Source: Getty Images
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But Warne surprisingly sided with Chappell, arguing that although the shot was undeniably entertaining, it gave the batter an unfair advantage.
“As a bowler, we have to nominate what hand we’re bowling with, and what side of the wicket we’re bowling with,” Warne said on Wednesday.
“I’m setting a field to a 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. It’s worth a discussion, worth a debate to work out what’s the right thing.
“Maybe the bowler can run up behind the umpire and bowl over or around.”
— with Jai Bednall