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Thread: why most openers are left handed

  1. #16
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Based on personal experience, I've never believed this. I know that I aim each delivery itself, I don't rely on muscle memory or pre-programmed ideas of where to bowl. I have plenty of problems bowling too many deliveries down the leg-side to RHBs when it doesn't swing, and LHBs when it does - regardless of whether there are two RHBs or (though this is rare at my level) two LHBs. The only type of bowlers who might tend to struggle are the real "metronome" types like Curtley Ambrose and Angus Fraser, and even them I don't remember having many real problems TBH.
    It doesn't really matter whether the theory is right or wrong. The point is, it's a widely-held theory and that means that selectors use it, and so it will (I think) go some way to boosting the number of LH openers that we see.

    As for whether it is in fact right or wrong, I think I disagree with you. Having a LH/RH opening partnership can, I think, upset a bowler's line (it certainly does / did for me). That said, when I'm watching the pros and they fire it down the leg side, I instinctively tend to rely on it as evidence to support and reinforce my theory rather than accepting that they might just be bowling crap, and would have been just as inaccurate bowling at a pair of right-handers. (There's a name for this kind of reinforcing-your-favoured-theory bias, but I can't remember what it's called. Edit: wikipedia tells me it's called confirmation bias).
    Last edited by zaremba; 17-02-2010 at 08:42 AM.

  2. #17
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    (There's a name for this kind of reinforcing-your-favoured-theory bias, but I can't remember what it's called. Edit: wikipedia tells me it's called confirmation bias).
    Actually (and sorry for quoting my own post) that piece on confirmation bias should be required reading for just about all CW posters. It gives a horribly accurate insight into so much of what we do when we (a) watch cricket and (b) get into arguments with each other. Well, that's true in my case anyway.

  3. #18
    Hall of Fame Member Marcuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    No they don't.

    There's a mythical status sorrounding lefties in sport - the same thing happens in football.

    You get elegant left handers in cricket - in football you get players with a "cultured left foot" or a "wand of a left foot." There's no equivelant description afforded to right handers.
    Nah, left footed players in football don't have feet, they have pegs.

  4. #19
    Hall of Fame Member Marcuss's Avatar
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    Just a thought, there are more right armed pace bowlers than left armed. With the new ball the majority of opening bowlers swing the ball away from the right hander (into the left hander), it is said that the ball coming into you is easier to play than the ball moving away. So left-handed opening batsmen are at an advantage when facing the new ball?

    Just a theory, feel free to tear it apart


  5. #20
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    It doesn't really matter whether the theory is right or wrong. The point is, it's a widely-held theory and that means that selectors use it, and so it will (I think) go some way to boosting the number of LH openers that we see.
    I do hope not. If you consider a LHB over a RHB (or vice-versa) purely because of which hand he bats with, rather than considering how good his technique, hand-eye coodination, shot-selection etc. are (ie, all the things that make it likely his run-scoring prowess is going to be higher - so thus how high his batting average is), I'd say you're playing a dangerous game.

    Only once all the above are essentially roughly equal should you consider which way around someone holds the bat IMO.
    As for whether it is in fact right or wrong, I think I disagree with you. Having a LH/RH opening partnership can, I think, upset a bowler's line (it certainly does / did for me). That said, when I'm watching the pros and they fire it down the leg side, I instinctively tend to rely on it as evidence to support and reinforce my theory rather than accepting that they might just be bowling crap, and would have been just as inaccurate bowling at a pair of right-handers. (There's a name for this kind of reinforcing-your-favoured-theory bias, but I can't remember what it's called. Edit: wikipedia tells me it's called confirmation bias).
    It's, essentially, something that's never possible to prove conclusively, and to disprove it conclusively would be damn hard as well. No-one can possibly give the definite reason why a bowler is\isn't struggling to hold the right line - even the bowler himself can merely be fairly sure.
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  6. #21
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcuss View Post
    Just a thought, there are more right armed pace bowlers than left armed. With the new ball the majority of opening bowlers swing the ball away from the right hander (into the left hander), it is said that the ball coming into you is easier to play than the ball moving away. So left-handed opening batsmen are at an advantage when facing the new ball?

    Just a theory, feel free to tear it apart
    TBF, again based on personal experience (both in terms of what I watch and what I bowl) it's very important to differentiate between the ball that swings into you and the ball that swings back into you. I.E., is the ball angled in and continuing to swing in or angled accross and swinging back in?

    Generally I find (obviously there are variants according to the technique of various players, and sometimes the amount of swing available) that the toughest thing to play is the ball that swings back into you, followed by the ball that is angled in and swings away, followed by the ball that is angled accross and swings further away, followed by the ball that is angled in and continues to swing in.

    The above guidelines are why I always say that if you're swinging the ball away, you should always look to angle in (so if you're a right-arm swing-to-the-left bowler you should bowl over-the-wicket mostly, if you're a right-arm swing-to-the-right bowler you should bowl round-the-wicket mostly, and opposite for left-armers).

    I'm a right-arm bowler who can - presently - basically bowl nothing but the ball which swings into LHBs and away from RHBs, and I generally tend to cause most problems for LHBs, and always relish bowling at them on the relatively rare occasion I get the chance. I also hardly ever bowl around-the-wicket, unless the ball has stopped swinging completely and I'm bowling cutters instead.

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