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Thread: why most openers are left handed

  1. #1
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    why most openers are left handed

    If you look at most teams they open with left handed batsmen or atleast the first batsmen is always a lefthanded, why is that? does it make a difference?

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Inclined to believe it's coincidental, because some of the greatest opening batsmen were right-handed. That said, I have a fever and may therefore be missing something.
    Sreesanth said, "Next ball he was beaten and I said, 'is this the King Charles Lara? Who is this impostor, moving around nervously? I should have kept my mouth shut for the next ball - mind you, it was a length ball - Lara just pulled it over the church beyond the boundary! He is a true legend."


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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Having a left/right handed opening pair can help disrupt the opening bowlers so that they can't quickly settle on a line and length. Thererfore "ideal" balanced XI will have a left/right hand opening partnership (having said which, partnerships like Hobbs / Sutcliffe and Hayden / Langer didn't conform to that ideal). Perhaps for this reason left-handers tend to get picked to play as openers a little more often than random chance would otherwise suggest.

    It's also important to recognise that very many right-handers bat "left-handed". And so there is a much much higher proportion of "left-handed" batsmen playing cricket than there are true left-handers in the population.
    Last edited by zaremba; 16-02-2010 at 10:49 AM.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Strauss/Cook, Gayle/Hinds, Hayden/Katich.


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    Left handers look more stylish and hence tend to appeal to coaches as elegant good sound relaxed technical players, thats why they prefer them at the opening slot.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider guys like Gayle and Hayden to be stylish tbh.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mxyzptlk View Post
    I wouldn't consider guys like Gayle and Hayden to be stylish tbh.
    Or any of the others you mentioned for that matter. "Stylish" left-handers tend to be pigeon-holed as, if anything, middle-order dashers.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Graeme Fowler was a stylish opener, there are other appropriate adjectives but I'll stick to stylish and the sobering thought that it is now a quarter of a century since he last played for England

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    His Test career arguably ended at the peak of his powers, though.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I suppose he was very fortunate to have a Test career at all - has Goochie's South African error of judgment to thank for it - I always liked him though and he did very well for a bloke who always looked like he was going to get out next ball

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohammad16 View Post
    Left handers look more stylish and hence tend to appeal to coaches as elegant good sound relaxed technical players, thats why they prefer them at the opening slot.
    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.
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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I suppose he (Fowler) was very fortunate to have a Test career at all - has Goochie's South African error of judgment to thank for it - I always liked him though and he did very well for a bloke who always looked like he was going to get out next ball
    Yeah, you couldn't help but like him really. Looked out of his depth most of the time, but was good enough to come through the blackwash series intact. Given that his penultimate test saw him pass 200, I did occasionally wonder why he never got another go circa 1986-1988, when he seemed to have been overtaken by Slack, Benson, Moxon, Curtis and pretty much any other opener that you care to mention.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    Having a left/right handed opening pair can help disrupt the opening bowlers so that they can't quickly settle on a line and length.
    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 should be noted that the trend of LHBs being highly prominent among openers is only a very recent thing. Look back even just 20 years or so and you'll see they were still fairly uncommon.

    I'm fairly sure there are far more LHBs around presently than there ever used to be, opening and in the middle-order, so that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. In 2000, West Indies picked a team composed of LHBs two-ten:
    Campbell (RHB)
    Griffith
    Hinds
    Lara
    Chanderpaul
    Adams
    Jacobs
    Nagamootoo
    McLean
    Ambrose
    Walsh (RHB - though he could've batted LHB and it'd not have made any difference)
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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid'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.
    Either that or they're 'nuggety' batsmen - another descripion that never gets applied to RHers.

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    Hall of Fame Member NZTailender's Avatar
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    This can usually be traced back to the fact most players are right handed, so bowlers generally get used to bowling to right handers and therefore lefties can have an advantage against someone who hasn't had much experience in bowling the correct line for them. It can take time to adjust in a game as well, which is potentially precious time that a batsman has to get himself 'in', so by the time the bowler has adjusted, the left hander might be set, making him harder to get out.

    I mean, there will be teams around the world from grade to international that have quite a few left handed batsmen (and/or bowlers) in the side, but most you will find are dominated by right handed batsmen.

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