Sourav Ganguly contradicts Ian Chappell on switch-hit debate, says ‘the game has moved on’

Former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly

Fair or Unfair? Glenn Maxwell plays the switch-hit. Pic:

Pitching in on the switch-hit debate, former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has backed the stroke, stating that the game has “moved on”.

The switch-hit has come back into focus as Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell has been utilising the same to great effect in the limited-overs matches against India.

Ganguly was quoted as saying in a Mid-Day report:

“The game has moved on, so I don’t see we can take away this popular stroke from the modern-day batsmen.” 

The ex-India skipper was highly impressed with the manner in which Maxwell hit a six using the switch-hit during the third ODI against India at the Manuka Oval. He explained:

“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.”

On being asked whether he had seen any other batsmen play the switch-hit to great effect, Ganguly responded:

“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.”

A switch-hit involves a batsman changing his grip and stance completely. So a left-handed batsman, in effect, becomes a right-hander and vice-versa while playing the switch-hit.

Over the last couple of weeks, former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has opined that while playing the switch-hit needs skill, it is not fair for bowlers. He said:

“The Australian batting has been exceptional (in ODIs). They have made it look pretty easy.. particularly (Steven) Smith and Maxwell, some of the shots he plays are to believe. (Switch-hitting) is amazingly skillful, but it’s not fair.”

Maxwell, however, responded to the statement, defending himself and the switch-hit. The attacking batsman replied when asked about Chappell’s comments after the third ODI against India:

“It (switch-hit) is within the laws of the game, that has always (been there). Batting has evolved in such a way, that it has got better and better over the years, which is why see these massive scores are getting chased down and the scores are going up.”

In a recent column for ESPNCricinfo, Chappell suggested that the umpires should start calling the delivery a dead ball in case a batsman tries to play the switch-hit.

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