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Thread: Left-arm spinners

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    International Regular WindieWeathers's Avatar
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    Left-arm spinners

    Apart from Vettori has there been many great left-arm spinners at test level? and if not whats the reason for it? are leftys at a disadvantage when it comes to spin? Monty Panesar made a big impact for a while but he seems to have been figured out now.

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    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Derek Underwood | Cricket Players and Officials | Cricinfo.com

    In fact, I suspect most of the 'successful' in average terms left-arm spinners would pre date covered wickets.

    http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/content/player/22149.html from a West Indian point-of-view, maybe?
    Last edited by HeathDavisSpeed; 21-03-2010 at 04:31 AM.
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    Shakib is great too. And Hogg to a certain extent.

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    Is Vettori succesful bowler in test cricket? Yes. Is he a great bowler - No. Shakib > Vettori as a test bowler, but not by much.

    ATM there are no great left arm spinners. And the next great one most probably will come from Pakistan
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    There seems to be a fair few kicking around at the moment actually; SA (Harris), NZ (Vettori), WI (Benn) and Bangladesh (everyone) all have SLAs as first choice spin bowlers. But yeah, they're not all exactly amazing Test bowlers. I think it's not so much that it's left armers have a distinct disadvantage TBH, more just that finger spinners in general do, given the greater turn that a wristie can get. If anything, left armers should be more successful than right arm off break (redundant, I know) bowlers since they're actually turning the ball away from the right hander rather than into him. And I think Monty's fall was due more to his own shortcomings more so than his bowling style.

    Edit: Just realised you were talking about left arm spinners in general, not SLAs. My bad. Why there have been no great left arm wrist spinners is a question I'd be very interested to know the answer to.
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    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Of course, Sir Garry Sobers could bowl orthodox or chinaman lefties. He wasn't too shabby.

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    International Regular WindieWeathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    Derek Underwood | Cricket Players and Officials | Cricinfo.com

    In fact, I suspect most of the 'successful' in average terms left-arm spinners would pre date covered wickets.
    That's impressive stats there, i'm asking the question because i don't see many around today, we've got a lefty coming through called Kavesh Kantasingh who had a very impressive domestic season recently, came 3rd in the most wickets charts, bowls very tight which brings a lot of maidens but he's also very attacking and has a habit of clean bowling batters too, he'll probably be playing for our A-team shortly but with the lack of quality leftys around i'm just wondering if it's tougher for leftys to succeed at the top level these days.

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    International Vice-Captain King Pietersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindieWeathers View Post
    Apart from Vettori has there been many great left-arm spinners at test level? and if not whats the reason for it? are leftys at a disadvantage when it comes to spin? Monty Panesar made a big impact for a while but he seems to have been figured out now.
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    There have been quite a few fine performers at Test level, especially the Top 4. Whether or not left-arm orthodox bowlers are effective now is another matter though. With this era of flat pitches it's very hard for finger-spin bowlers to have much success, unless they have the doosra, or great control of line/length and flight. Swann, Vettori, Harbhajan and Shakib have had success though, so I don't see why left-armers couldn't have success in the modern era if they're good enough.
    Last edited by King Pietersen; 21-03-2010 at 04:42 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post

    Edit: Just realised you were talking about left arm spinners in general, not SLAs. My bad. Why there have been no great left arm wrist spinners is a question I'd be very interested to know the answer to.
    I think the main reason is that spinners want to turn the ball away from the RHB which the SLA bowlers stock ball does anyway so SLC bowlers are less valuable than LBG - Johnny Wardle bowled his wrist spin with great success in South Africa once - I don't think Sobers ever had a great deal of success with it - his stock in trade as a slow bowler was the orthodox stuff -

    Another factor is that the pre 1935 LBW law did nothing to encourage SLC bowlers so there was even less reason to bowl it in pre war days

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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    Is Vettori succesful bowler in test cricket? Yes. Is he a great bowler - No. Shakib > Vettori as a test bowler, but not by much.

    ATM there are no great left arm spinners. And the next great one most probably will come from Pakistan
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    I think its simple really. There have only been a handful of really good spinners. And there are only a small percentage of bowlers who are left handed. So its clear that there will always be a lack of left handed spinning options. Even when I was playing cricket for school and club, there was only two other left handed spinners, plus myself, that I saw.
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    International Regular WindieWeathers's Avatar
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    All i'm wondering is are the left arm spinners bowling action a disadvantage at the top level? judging from a few of the responses it seems like it might be, would Swann be the man he is today if he was a lefty? i have my doubts to be honest, Benn has done alright for us lately, his 5-fer against the Aussies was great to see of course but i wouldn't put him in Swann's class at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    Edit: Just realised you were talking about left arm spinners in general, not SLAs. My bad. Why there have been no great left arm wrist spinners is a question I'd be very interested to know the answer to.
    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I think the main reason is that spinners want to turn the ball away from the RHB which the SLA bowlers stock ball does anyway so SLC bowlers are less valuable than LBG - Johnny Wardle bowled his wrist spin with great success in South Africa once - I don't think Sobers ever had a great deal of success with it - his stock in trade as a slow bowler was the orthodox stuff -

    Another factor is that the pre 1935 LBW law did nothing to encourage SLC bowlers so there was even less reason to bowl it in pre war days
    Was going to make the same point as fred, if in a somewhat less erudite way, however I will say that with the seemingly ever increasing numbers of cack handers in test teams top orders (England having only Cook in our top 7 today seems almost noteworthy) I wouldn't be too surprised if we saw a decent chinaman bowler emerge soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindieWeathers View Post
    All i'm wondering is are the left arm spinners bowling action a disadvantage at the top level? judging from a few of the responses it seems like it might be, would Swann be the man he is today if he was a lefty? i have my doubts to be honest, Benn has done alright for us lately, his 5-fer against the Aussies was great to see of course but i wouldn't put him in Swann's class at all.
    Benn has a test average well over 40 and cant be classed as a successful bowler.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    Of course, Sir Garry Sobers could bowl orthodox or chinaman lefties. He wasn't too shabby.
    He was a not-terribly-good spinner, from all I've heard; only started to become a bowler who was taken seriously when he started bowling seam-up.

    Either way, the question of "have there ever been any great left-arm spinners apart from Vettori?" is one of the more odd ones I've heard posed recently. There have been many left-arm fingerspinners who've enjoyed miles more success than Vettori has. The days of fingerspinners, left- or right-arm, being able to dominate all over the globe are gone, however, and went a long time ago. It is no longer possible for a fingerspinner to have sustained success in England or New Zealand, it hasn't been in Australia or South Africa for a very long time indeed, it virtually never was in Pakistan (except briefly in the days of Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed then later Saqlain Mushtaq), and at the present time even the original spin-haven of India produces less spin-friendly Test tracks than used to be the case. Only Sri Lanka really remains the proper spin-haven it should be.

    All of the great English fingerspinners - most of whom were left-armers (Peate, Peel, Rhodes, White, Verity, Wardle, Lock, Underwood) - date from the days when wickets in this country were uncovered. In the days since wickets in England have been covered, only subcontinental fingerspinners (Bedi, Prasanna, Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, the aforementioned Iqbal and Saqlain) have ever enjoyed much sustained succes. There hasn't been a genuinely successful Australian fingerspinner for many decades, and there's only ever been one from South Africa (Tayfield) and one from West Indies (Gibbs), both of whom are also a long time ago now.

    In modern times the only bowlers who've enjoyed widespread success Worldwide have been wristspinners - Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. And if anyone thinks there's likely to be another one of those two any time soon they're asking rather a lot.
    Last edited by Richard; 21-03-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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