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Left handed cricket batsmen

England selected a pair of left-handed opening batsmen in the first Ashes Test against Australia in Brisbane recently. Lefthanders Andrew Strauss (left!) and Alastair Cook (below) had an opening partnership of 188 runs and both scored centuries in an impresive England innings.

Left handed batsmen have a certain advantages in cricket: As with most lefthanders, their right-brain to left-side wiring gives them enhanced spatial awareness and the ability the think and react quickly to objects in 3-dimensions – quite useful when a 5.5oz (155g) cricket ball with a hard leather cover is hurtling towards you at nearly 100 mph and you are supposed to hit it!

The other advantage is that they are unusual in hitting the ball from the other side of their body and that changes the way the bowler and fielders have to play. The bowler has to change the angle of attack and sometimes changes to bowling from the other side of the wicket and the field has to be completely reversed as the batsman will be hitting the ball in different directions (e.g. the “slips” that are behind the bat to catch any edges all have to change sides).

When there a left-handed and right-handed batsman playing at the same time, the fielders have a lot of walking around to do to keep moving to the most effective positions.

Follow Up

Here is a suggested list of the top 10 left-handed cricket batsmen of all time (with thanks to CricketFreakz)

  • Sir Garry Sobers (West Indies)
  • David Gower (England)
  • Clive Lloyd (West Indies)
  • Neil Harvey (Australia)
  • Brian Lara (West Indies)
  • Allen Border (Australia)
  • Saeed Anwar (Pakistan)
  • Mathew Hayden (Australia)
  • Adam Gilchrist (Australia)
  • Saurav Ganguly (India)

What do you think?

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