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Justin Langer disagrees with Ian Chappell, Shane Warne, says switch-hit should be here to stay

“Don’t listen to Ian Chappell.”

Those were the joking words of a cheeky Justin Langer when he was asked for his thoughts on the polarising switch-hit.

Chappell was among those calling for the controversial shot to be banned after star Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell pulled off a spectacular switch-hit for six in the third ODI against India.

Former Australian captain Chappell disagrees with the switch-hit because the bowler is forced to nominate which arm they’re bowling with and which side of the wicket they’re bowling from – and they set their field accordingly – before the ball is bowled, while the inventive shot allows the batsman to ruin their plans with no time to rectify.

Australian leg-spin great Shane Warne is another top figure who’s called for the switch-hit to be outlawed.

When SEN co-host Jimmy Smith asked Langer to give his son advice for playing the switch-hit, the Australian mentor threw his support behind the shot.

“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,” Langer said.

“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.

“And Glenn Maxwell – how exciting is it when you see guys do it.”

The switch-hit can be traced back to the 1987 World Cup, when Indian Kris Srikkanth hit a four off a switch-hit off the bowling of New Zealander Dipak Patel.

It wasn’t seen again until South African Jonty Rhodes hit Australia’s Darren Lehmann for six in an ODI in 2002, and it was first played in a Test in 2006 by former England entertainer Kevin Pietersen.

That shot was off the bowling of the greatest wicket-taker in Test history, legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

The likes of Maxwell, David Warner, AB de Villiers and Colin Munro have since made the shot a genuine part of their arsenal.

Langer believes cricket has advanced to a point where the switch-hit must stay.

“It’s part of the modern game, particularly in T20 cricket,” Langer said.

“As long as kids are playing cricket – reverse-sweeping, hitting sixes, blocking it, whatever they do – it’s all good fun. I talk about that in the book (his new book Cricket – The Aussie Way!). Backyard cricket, playing with your mates, having fun – that’s how we learn to become the best cricketers possible.”

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