Ravichandran Ashwin's take: 'Unfair to be not ruled LBW upon switch hit'
Current MCC laws do not allow LBW rules applicable for switch-hitting batters. However, Ravichandran Ashwin is not fond of the rule and wants it changed.
Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin senses that the batters should be adjudged leg-before-wicket if the ball pitches outside the leg stump, even if they miss out on an attempt to play the switch hit. Per current laws, a batter cannot be ruled out leg-before if the ball pitches outside the leg, even if it hits the stumps, which is deemed the 'blind spot' for batters.
"My question is not whether he can play reverse sweep or not, whether it's negative bowling strategy or not [bowling outside the leg stump], my point is about LBW. It's unfair that it's not ruled LBW. Let batters play the switch hit, but give us LBW when they miss. How can you say it is not LBW when the batter turns? If they start giving that out in all game formats, some parity could be retained between bowling and batting," Ashwin declared on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin referred to the just-concluded fifth and final Test between India and England. The latter chased down a record target of 378 runs to win the Test and level the five-Test series 2-2, as it rode on unbeaten centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.
"This game [Edgbaston Test] was about the approach that Joe Root and Bairstow took. Root played about ten shots, where he turned around entirely and attempted the reverse sweep. He [Root] played that ten times but didn't connect on nine of them. On the 10th time, it got the under-edge and rolled away. Bairstow, meanwhile, kept padding the balls away," explained Ashwin.
The 'blind spot' is when the ball pitches outside the leg and is not visible to a batter while he stands in his original stance, facing towards the off-side. Ashwin emphasised that it was not a "blind spot" when Root switched his stance and played like a left-handed batter, playing reverse sweeps.
"This is where I have a slight difference of opinion. As a bowler, I am informing you that I am bowling left-arm spin from over the stumps, and I have this [leg side] field. You front up to that as a right-hander, but you play that reverse sweep and hit like a left-hander," Ashwin continued.
"But, when Root does that, he won't be out lbw because of the blind spot. It's only a blind spot when you are at your normal stance. Once you play the reverse sweep and have a left-handed stance, it's no longer a blind spot. It's front on," concluded Ashwin.
(With inputs from PTI)