Switch-Hitting Is The Part Of The Game Particularly In T20 Cricket: Justin Langer

Switch-Hitting Is The Part Of The Game Particularly In T20 Cricket: Justin Langer

Justin Langer, Australian coach was recently asked to give his opinion on the switch-hit, to which he jokingly replied advising not to listen to Ian Chappell.

Switch hit shot has been under discussion and is a subject were experts were divided over opinions ever since the shot became mainstream in modern-day cricket.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Ian Chappell: Switch Hits Should Be Banned As The Bowlers Are At Disadvantage

Ian Chappell had recently expressed his apprehensions saying the switch hit should be banned altogether as the bowler is at a disadvantage. The switch-hit was declared a legitimate shot by an International Cricket Council (ICC) committee in 2012.

However, the debate around the particular shot has been raging on and has been under severe criticism ever since Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell used it to perfection against India in the recently concluded ODI series.

Ian Chappell argued that as a bowler has to specify beforehand whether he is bowling over or around the wicket and from which end he will bowl, a batsman should not be allowed to change his stance midway during the delivery.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell. Image Courtesy: Getty

Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy, however, says the shot should not be banned. Sourav Ganguly, a left-handed batsman and current BCCI president, said cricket has moved on and one requires a lot of strength and ability to play a courageous shot like switch hit which also requires timing and movement.

Former England player Kevin Pietersen was among the first to play the shot while Australians David Warner and Glenn Maxwell executed the shot perfectly. Former Australia cricketer and legendary spinner Shane Warne echoed Ian Chappell as he is also not a fan of the practice as he feels that the shot is unfair towards the bowler.

Former umpire Simon Taufel, who was also a member of the ICC’s elite panel, believed that it would not be practical to prohibit the shot by an on-field umpire as umpires have other responsibilities too.

Justin Langer: Switch Hits Part Of Modern Game Particularly T20

Justin Langer argues otherwise as he disagrees with Ian Chappell and believes the shot is part of the modern game.

The Australian coach said: ”I went down to my brother’s place a few weeks ago, and for the first time, he’s coaching. He’s coaching his 10-year-old son Noah.”

“And they’re down there at training and Noah’s reverse-sweeping and switch-hitting, and he’s saying, ‘You can’t do that’, and I say, ‘What do you mean you can’t do that?’ That’s what they do now, and it’s great.”

“Tell him – because if you get out doing it you look like a clown – do it but get bloody good at it because if you don’t, everyone’s going to jump over you. It’s part of the modern game, particularly in T20 cricket,” Justin Langer added.

Justin Langer also praised Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell who is considered one of the masters of the switch hit. Glenn Maxwell showed his switch-hitting ability recently in the limited-overs series against India.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

Justin Langer took over the coaching role when Australian cricket was going through turmoil phase after the sandpaper saga in 2018 led to 1-year bans for batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner. The 50-year-old has given Australian cricket hopes to regain their lost confidence with the team now playing hard and fair cricket over the past couple of years.

Justin Langer indirectly indicated switch-hit shot is to stay although it has continued to divide opinion ever since its inception by batsmen.