Firstly let us look at the LBW law. batsmen are not given out LBW when a ball is pitched outside the leg stump because an umpire may find it difficult to judge if the ball will hit the stumps or not. Now with switch hit being allowed, technically a batsman can be out to a ball pitching outside the leg stump! So if he can be out when he switch hits why can’t he be given out when he straight hits!
Next what could prevent a batsman like Ganguly to take a right hander’s stance every time a fast bowler runs in and then quietly change around. Since he becomes a right hander by their ruling he cannot be given out LBW when the pitches outside his ‘current’ off stump because he took guard as a right hander! Similarly for right handers, they can just take guard right handed and turn around as the bowler begins his run up.
Also batsmen can now take guard anyway they want to confuse the bowler further on which side of the wicket they have to bowl! Great time for batsmen I say! My son will never practice bowling in school!
In the last ODI that England played against NZ Kevin Pieterson hit 2 shots by changing his batting grip and stance as the bowler was running in to bowl. I was reminded of an old photograph of Asif Iqbal doing this nearly 30 years ago. I do not remember if it was the reverse sweep with the typical right hander’s grip or if he had done what Pieterson has just done. It is an innovation and the rulers of world cricket do not know how to handle the situation.
1. Bowlers give guard that they bowl right/left handed, over/round the wicket. Batsmen are not required to give guard. Or should they also.
2. Why should batsmen give guard? For two important reasons. Umpires need to decide on whether the ball is outside the off stump or the leg stump to judge a wide. With a right hander’s grip, the ball would be called a wide. But with a left hander’s grip is it not outside the off stump? Or as Daniel Vettorei just said in an interview reported in Cricinfo – Should they mark wide lines on both sides of the wicket and treat the balls down the leg side similarly? The second reason is for adjudging a batsman LBW, will the ball be treated as pitching outside the off stump if the batsman changes his grip. Afterall a batsman cannot be given out if the ball pitches outside the leg stump. But then the leg stump is for the right handed batsman. And what is the criteria to show if a batsman is left or right hadned? The grip of course! So if the grip changes then the rules for LBW/wides should also change.
3. Now coming to the bowlers. Frankly it does not make sense for a bowler to give guard for bowling left/right. As far as the batsman are concerned atleast issues of lbw and wides come into play. Nohing like that for the bowlers. So can a bowler not bowl with either of his hands?