Free-hit law should be changed, says Mark Taylor

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor says the laws of the game should be fine-tuned, following a chaotic finale to the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match in Melbourne.

India secured a famous victory off the final ball of the 20th over, taking 16 runs off Mohammad Nawaz’s final over.

One of a number of turning points came with India requiring five to win off three balls, with Virat Kohli on strike to Nawaz with a free hit, following a waist-high full toss from the Pakistan bowler.

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Kohli attempted to sweep a full ball but was bowled, with the ball deflecting off the stumps down to third man.

Under law 20.1, the ball becomes dead when it is “finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or bowler” or “a boundary is scored” or “a batter is dismissed.”

As the batter can’t be dismissed either bowled or caught off a free hit, India was perfectly entitled to take the runs.

While this is not the first time a scenario like this has played out, Taylor told Wide World of Sports the batting side shouldn’t profit from a scenario that would normally result in a dismissal.

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“I think if the ball hits the stumps you’re actually gaining an unfair advantage,” he told Wide World of Sports.

“Firstly, in the situation like we saw on Sunday night, the ball can deflect anywhere, and secondly, if the fielding team is trying to run the batter out, the bails are already on the ground and you’ve got to remove the stump, so that’s harder as well.

“I think if the batter is bowled or caught off the free hit, you’re not out but the ball should then be dead, that would be fair and reasonable.

“You’ve got the advantage of not being out off a free hit, but you shouldn’t benefit a second time from what would normally be considered a dismissal.”

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