The Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin has called out the biased rules in the favour of the batters. The veteran has opined that a batter should be given LBW out on missing a shot while playing the reverse sweep. According to the rules in play, a batter could not be adjudged LBW out if the ball has pitched outside the leg stump even if it is hitting the batter in the stumps’ line.
Ravi Ashwin also cited the example of the recently-concluded fifth Test between India and England that was won by the hosts. The off-spinner pointed out how Joe Root kept trying to play reverse sweep many times and kept missing the ball.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, the Indian offie said, “In this game, it was about the approach that Joe Root and Bairstow took. Root played about 10 shots, where he turned around completely and attempted the reverse sweep. He played that 10 times but didn’t connect on 9 of them. On the 10th time, it got the under-edge and rolled away. Bairstow, meanwhile, kept padding the balls away.”
“Once you play the reverse sweep, it is front on and no longer a blind spot” – Ravi Ashwin
The legendary spinner was critical of the LBW rules regarding the batters playing the reverse sweep. In case you don’t know, the term ‘blind spot’ is used when the ball is pitched outside the line of the leg stump and is not visible to the batter while standing in his original batting stance.
Ravi Ashwin emphasized that when a batter switches from his original stance to play reverse sweeps and switch hits, it does not remain a blind spot and it goes out of the equation.
“This is where I have a small 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. 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,” said Ravi Ashwin.
The bowler went on to point out the biased LBW law and called for the change in the rule to bring some parity between the bowling and the batting.
“My question is not whether he can play reverse sweep or not, whether it’s negative bowling strategy or not (bowling outside 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 formats of the game, some parity could be retained between bowling and batting,” Ravi Ashwin concluded.