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Left-hand in Cricket

The term left-hand in cricket refers to a batsman who holds a bat in his left hand. Read everything about why the leading hand of a batsman matters to the game, what is the difference between the left arm and the left-hand. Read in our article everything about the most famous batsmen who played with the left hand.

What is the Left-hand in cricket?

There are many more right-handers in the world than left-handers, and this is an indisputable fact. In addition, many seriously believe that left-handers should be retrained so that they use their right hand as a leader. In contrast, being left-handed is a big advantage for batsmen in cricket. But this was not always:

  • At the dawn of test cricket in 1877, no batsmen were playing with the Left-hand at all. Of the 72 players, only 7 batsmen were left-handed, mostly valued for their ability to play as bowlers. Everything changed in 1884, with William Scotton becoming a pioneer.
  • For the next thirty years, left-handed batsmen were in the minority with no authority over their right-handed colleagues.
  • They learned to wrap their identity so that it became their strength in the following years. Now it is the left-handers who are the first among the players of the slugger team to enter the field as cricketers, from whom they expect the most productive and brilliant game.
  • A batsman who uses the left hand in the game has an advantage over other players largely because he hits from an angle that is unusual for their right-handed rivals. Left-hand players have a similar advantage, for example, in boxing or table tennis. A bowler or fielder, who is not used to dealing with a left-hander, does not have time to adjust for a new format of play, so his opponent gains an advantage.

In addition, the accumulated statistic speaks for itself: for example, in Pakistani cricket, most of the records and achievements belong to left-handed batsmen.

What is the Left-hand in cricket?

Left-hand and Left arm: what’s the difference?

In cricket, the terms left-hand and left arm are not synonymous and are used to mean completely different things:

  • Left arm is a bowler who serves the ball using his Left-hand.
  • Left-hand is a batsman who bats while holding the bat with his Left-hand.

Cricket rules assume that cricket players will play both batsman and bowler or fielder positions during a match. Therefore, as a rule, if a player holds the bat with his left hand, he will also serve the ball with his left hand (we will discuss the exceptions in the next section).

It is important to consider that left-handed bowlers also have an advantage over their opponents, for the same reasons as batsmen.

Is it simple?

The player who holds the bat using his left hand gains an advantage over his opponents in a cricket match. It’s so obvious that some cricketers, like Ben Hutton, suggest that even right-handers try to hold the bat with their left hand.

The fact is that if the player is right-handed, then his right hand is stronger and, being on the bat handle (top hand on the bat handle), gives an advantage and more control. This allows the player, with the proper skill level, to have much better control over the shot.

Ben, himself a right-hander, was specially retrained to play as the left-handed batsman. The same can be said about many other batsmen who play using left hand: they learned to hit the balls in this way on purpose. In fact, they were right-handed in everyday life.

According to some reports, about a quarter of first-class cricketers are left-handed, with two-thirds of this number being right-handed in life. Examples of such players are David Gower, Brian Lara, Mark Taylor, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist and many others.

Most successful Left-hand batsmen

Most successful Left-hand batsmen

Cricket fans admire left-handed batsmen, and there are indeed many left-handed names in the history of the sport who are rightfully considered the best players in the world:

  • Brian Lara (West Indies). He is known for his precise, powerful and even elegant strikes and has become a true legend not only within the Caribbean but around the world. He has over 22,000 runs, of which 11,953 in test cricket and 10,405 in ODI.
  • Matthew Hayden (Australia). Playing for the national team of his country, he most often opened the match, going first to the position of the batsman. In many ways, he should be thanked for the fact that the role of the opener has become what it is now (when the strongest player is placed in this position). This strategy allowed Australia to be virtually invincible in the 2000s. He has 8,625 test runs and 6,133 ODI runs.
  • David Gower (England). This player, who remains an elegant gentleman both on and off the pitch, was also left-handed and extremely dangerous to his opponents. He has 8,231 Test runs at an average of 44.25.

Sourav Ganguly (India), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Alistair Cook (England) and many others also used left hand at the batsmen position.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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