Australia ended up with a thumping victory over New Zealand in the 1st Test of their 3-match Test series at the Perth Stadium. While there was tremendous action on the field, another interesting moment came off the field as ABC radio commentator Jim Maxwell and former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson debated on whether the traditional leg before wicket (LBW) rule in cricket should be changed to include deliveries that pitch outside the leg stump.
As Maxwell and Johnson sat in the commentary box, Johnson debated on why he thought that deliveries outside the leg stump should be considered for LBW decisions. The current rules do not qualify a delivery for LBW if it pitches outside the line of the leg stump. Maxwell explained that the rule was made because in the earlier days of cricket, the leg side was considered a blind spot for the batsmen and was not fondly looked upon to dismiss them or to be scored runs off. He also mentioned how Ranjit Singh Ji was one of the first batsmen to have popularised leg-side play.
Johnson remarked that shots like the flick and the reverse-sweep are getting more and more popular in Test cricket and bowlers should be able to use the leg side to trap the batsmen. Maxwell argued that doing this would make it too easy for the bowlers to dismiss batsmen as they could easily pitch the ball outside the leg stump and spin it back into the batsmen's pads. Johnson insisted that he would not have a problem with this rule but Maxwell insisted that this would make cricket - "unattractive".
🤔🏏 Here's something to ponder over the lunch break.— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) December 15, 2019
Mitchell Johnson thinks the LBW rule should include balls that pitch outside the leg stump. Do you agree? #AUSvNZ @jimmaxcricket pic.twitter.com/pXo0vtnMot
Australia and New Zealand will now play a Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26.