Can a player playing as a right hand batsman for a few overs switch to his left hand for rest of his innings?

Can a player bowling spin for 2 or 3 balls in a over switch to being a fast bowler in the same over?

What are the general rules about this?


Given two answers are about switch hitting. I apologize for not providing clear informations. Let me explain clearly. Consider a batsman, for example Dhoni comes to crease and faced two or three deliveries and after that can he face the next delivery as a Left handed batsman. He is a right handed batsman by profile. My question is, is it possible for a batsman or bowler to change is playing style i.e.,right to left or left to right during the match?

3 Answers 3


The batsman can change his stance whenever he likes. See Pieterson's switch hitting and the discussion on ESPN here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2t3ja3sZ5M

In terms of bowling, I believe that you are not able to swap the sides of the wicket you bowl from or which hand you bowl from without first informing the batsman. Theres no reason you can't change the style from medium to spin, I've seen people do this when having a bad over.

  • Switch hitting is not a matter, can pieterson bat(facing the ball) as a left hand batsman in a part of his innings? Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 10:14
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    Yes, the batsmen can line up to face anyway he likes. Shivnarine Chanderpaul who plays for the West Indies stands 'face on', as if he was a right handed batsmen about to face a ball delivered from square leg. For the purposes of LBW (which needs a leg and off side defined) the fact that he has a right handed grip means he is considered to have his leg stump as per a right hand batsmen, even though his legs are evenly distributed across the crease. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 3:44
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    Chanderpaul is left-handed, but I agree his stance is the most chest-on I've seen.
    – chimp
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 11:08

As indicated in jimmithy's answer, batsmen have far greater leeway in the rules than bowlers. Exactly what batsmen can and cannot do is a controversial point at present, but 'switch hitting' is currently legal.

Bowlers must inform the Umpire, who in turn informs the batsmen of what side of the wicket they will bowl from and from which hand when they begin their spell. They need to inform the Umpire, who informs the batsmen, if they want to change it, but can do so as often as they like. That is all though, the style of bowling need not be declared, just the side of the wicket and hand.

Andrew Symonds, a former Australian cricketer, bowled both offspin and medium pace. Admittedly he was rubbish at both, but at least we was equally skilled in both styles. It was not uncommon for him to bowl spin to one batsmen and medium pace to another in the same over in order to take advantage of the perceived strengths and weakness of the two batsmen against the two styles of bowling. He did not need to inform the Umpire that he was changing styles each ball.


To answer the question in its simplest form as asked, a batsman may stand in any position he/she likes and will be treated as right/left handed based on how he was stood at the instant of the delivery. He need not tell anyone and may change as many times as he likes.

Bowlers may also change the type of bowling and mode of delivery as often as they like. The only restriction being that if a bowler changes the mode of delivery he must first tell the umpire. Who will tell the batsman.

The mode is whether he is bowling right/left hand over or around the wicket.

Whether he is bowling spin, pace or any other type is up to him. I know of spinners who bowl both off and leg spin as well as genuine quick balls too.

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