Avoid switch-hitting, Ponting tells teammates

June 20th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 20 (IANS) Kevin Pietersen’s innovative switch-hitting pyrotechnics might have caught the imagination of cricketers around the world, but Australian captain Ricky Ponting does not recommend the shot to his teammates. Ponting was uncertain of the legality of Pietersen’s improvised strokes — most notably how they would affect wides, lbw decisions and the no-ball rule regarding three fieldsmen behind square-leg — but remained nonetheless impressed with the skill required to play them.

“I’m not sure how they’re really going to govern that,” he said.

“It’s obviously a great skill, if he’s hitting a couple of sixes doing it. It’s something that will be inside the bowler’s mind all the time. The bowler running in won’t know which way he’s going to hit it. It just puts more pressure on the bowler, and as a batter in one-day cricket that’s what you’re trying to do.”

Australia’s batsmen have experimented with alternate-handed shots in practice, but Ponting does not expect any replication of Pietersen’s shot during the first Twenty20 international to be staged in the Caribbean.

“It is probably something historically we have not been that good at, improvising that much as a batting group,” Ponting was quoted as saying in The Sydney Morning Herald Friday.

Though impressed with the power and precision of Pietersen’s left-handed strokes against New Zealand, Ponting said the Australians would adhere to more conventional shot-making.

“We have managed with our own skill to be able to hit different areas. But there’s no reason why any of our players can’t do that. A few of us muck around doing it in the nets, and Symo (Andrew Symonds) sort of uses the back of the bat when he plays his. We are probably more deflectors when we reverse sweep rather than six hitters,” Ponting said.

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