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Bowlers will soon get protection against switch hit: Shaun Pollock

MUMBAI: Although legendary South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock retired from the game a good four years ago, it’s clear that his heart still bleeds for the bowlers. Hence it is no surprise that the Team Mumbai mentor does not like what his tribe is going through in the IPL: quality bowlers like Dale Steyn and Ben Hilfenhaus being reverse scooped four fours and sixes.

Pollock, a master of bowling in field restrictions and in the death, reckons bowlers will soon start getting protection from the lawmakers against batsmen who suddenly metamorphose from right-handed to left or vice-versa. After all, bowlers do have to inform the umpires about whether they are bowling right-arm-over or round or left-arm-over or round and it is only fair that the bowlers don’t have to suddenly adjust to a left-hander as the field they have set is for a right-handed batsman.

“It’s seriously getting difficult. They bring fine leg up and the batsman scoops it over fine leg. You bring third man up and they reverse scoop it over third man. The bowlers constantly have to think on their feet and try and read what the batsmen are trying to do and if a batsman tries to adjust early to play a certain shot, you try and bowl certain deliveries to combat that. But it has become difficult with switch hit and everything that goes on with it. As a bowler you just have to take it on the chin and try to bowl the next delivery,” Pollock said.

“Whatever you try and bowl, make sure you give it a 100 per cent and if it doesn’t come off, that’s the nature of t20 cricket,” he added.

Pollock, like many others is not questioning the legality of the switch hit, but is asking more protection against it at least from the umpires, who aren’t averse to calling anything that’s away from the strike zone of the batsman, as a wide. How about batsmen informing the bowler and umpire beforehand as to whether he is going to face left-handed or right? “That’s good for debate,” reckons Pollock.

“When you set a field for a left-hander or right, you can only put five fielders on the leg side. When a batsman turns around, you have only three or four fielders on the other side. No laws have been changed yet, but I won’t be surprised by next year or so, if there’s not something that goes in the bowlers favour like if a batsman switches, a wide can’t be called.”

The legendary South African though is happy that bowlers have evolved ever since the T20 revolution has kicked off. “Bowlers have picked up new skills and have understood what’s required of them and have picked up slower balls. The main thing is they seem to have understood what delivery to bowl at what time and how you can be protective. They have progressed.”

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Posted by on May 9 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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