Best Left Handed Batsmen in Cricket Over the Past 3 Decades
Cricket has seen some great batsmen over the past many decades but left handed batsmen have always stood above the rest with the sheer class and beauty in their batting. It is, without doubt, the most enjoyable experience to watch a left handed batsman play a dashing drive through the covers region. Let us give you an insight on some of the most delightful left handed batsmen that cricket has seen over the past three decades.
Lara was a great batsman in different aspects of the game, renowned for his delightful stroke play. He produced match winning performances and his shot placement was immaculate. Lara had an unusual ability to find gaps when it was sorely needed. His high back lift and timing were more or less the trademark of his batting. Initially in his career, many analysts used to think that his high back lift was a technical flaw and a weakness in his batting which would not let him become a successful batsman.
However, it did not take him long to prove that it was actually the secret to his sweet timing of the ball and in turn, the driving force behind his success. His unique ability to move back and across prior to playing a stroke also accounted for the immaculate placement. It also signified how much time he had to sight the ball before sending it on its way to the boundary with a clean hit. It’s almost as if he saw the ball coming at him in slow motion.
The tall, strong left handed batsman from West Indies is a powerful player who possesses the ability to intimidate bowlers with his lethal shots while letting on absolutely no expressions. Gayle’s aggressive batting is the key reason for his popularity in the T20 leagues around the world.
His stand and deliver style means that instead of relying on timing and footwork, he banks more on power and hand-eye coordination. A funny fellow outside the ground, Gayle is the complete opposite when he is standing at the crease as he waits to bludgeon the ball out.
Different in style, Chanderpual is not the most stylish and good looking batsman in the world. His technique is not text book either; it is quite the contrary. However, he had his own way of being successful. Shiv was a composed, sensible and defensive batsman. He was solid in defense which meant that getting him out was never a piece of cake.
Infact, he would make it a habit to walk across the crease just before the bowler would deliver the ball, much to the annoyance of that bowler. Whenever his team needed someone to play a long innings, Chanderpaul was best suited to the situation.
The famous, aggressive Sri Lankan batsman used his wrists, bottom hand and short back lift to get power into his shots. Sanath’s unusual style of batting in the first 10 overs of the innings during the 1996 world cup surprised the world.
The way he approached bowlers to obliterate the left such a strong impression on one-day cricket format that it changed the way it was played in the years to come.
A real character in cricket, Ranatunga is known in Sri Lanka for his style of cricket and legacy as a captain. He always promoted talented players in Sri Lankan cricket. Whenever there was a challenge, Ranatunga would rise up to the occasion. His batting was not attractive in style but was it was surely effective.
He was also predominantly a bottom handed batsman and a very good player of spin. Bearing nerves of steel, Ranatunga would build his inning primarily on singles and doubles. However, he was famous for his late cut and was indeed a very good player of the shot.
Champion batsman of the recent times, Sangakkara is undoubtedly the best amongst all. Beautiful batting stance, stylish cover drives and exemplary concentration are the hallmark of Sanga’s batting.
His balance at the crease is the life of his batting. This explains why he is equally a good front foot and back foot player. In addition, he plays both; fast and spin bowlers with sheer class.
Taylor’s batting was basically similar in nature to Shivanrine Chanderpaul’s. His job as an opener was to see off the new ball and to provide a good start to the Australian innings.
The focus of his batting was on back foot horizontal bat shots, the cut and pull strokes. More than his batting he was more famous for his captaincy and his catching ability.
Hayden was a strongly built batsman; his personality was intimidating for any bowler that would bowl to him. He had the courage and the guile to play most of his shots on the front foot.
He even used to pull the ball off the front foot. Walking down the pitch to play his shots against bowlers was his special style of batting.
Also known as Adam “Bomb” for his destructive batting, Gilchrist completely redefined the role of a wicketkeeper batsman. His aggressive style of batting changed the way batsmen approached batting in limited overs format.
His strength rested in horizontal bat shots, the cut and pull shot. The unusual style of gripping the bat from top of the handle has become popular because of his success as an aggressor.
Bevan was a match winner. He won numerous limited overs matches for Australia, although he was not able to succeed in Test Match Cricket. His batting depended on understanding the situation and his ability to find gaps until he was able to finish off the game.
Hussey was a great batsman, registering match winning performances in almost every crunch situation. He could be called Michael Bevan’s drastically more improved version. He became famous by the name “Mr Cricket” and was also termed the freak of cricket by his captain Michael Clarke.
His success as a match winner is unmatched by any other cricketer of late. He was technically brilliant and was able to play the ball late. Mike’s ability to flick the ball at the last moment was the real driving force behind his shots.
Warner is another aggressive Australian left handed batsman. Like most Australian batsmen, he is a good player of the pull shot. He bats with an aggressive intent and dominates the bowlers with his power hitting.
Warner is also the inventor of the switch hit, whereby he switches from left to right-handed stance at the last moment and has the ability to play every shot that a right-handed batsman is expected to play.
Tall, elegant left handed batsman Stephen Fleming from New Zealand is arguably one of the best captains in the history of cricket. He was a true leader who always led from the front. Fleming was a great timer of the ball.
He had the great ability to play straight. In addition, he was renowned for always being cool, calm and collected. In light of his humble personality, is no surprise that he always played the sport in great spirit.
Sourav was a valiant captain and a brilliant left handed batsman. As a good player of spin, he was famous for his footwork and aggressive batting. He was a natural fighter and a hard man to dislodge. Despite his problems with short pitched bowling, Sourav never gave up and used to fight it out till the end.
Yuvraj was another brilliant batsman from India with attractive stroke play, high back lift and sweet timing. His aggressive batting style caught the attention of the world when he became the first player in T20 International cricket to hit six 6s off six balls.
Kirsten was a batsman with limited abilities, but he understood his game and was mighty effective. His batting depended on patience and a plethora of cut shots. Kirsten would come to open the innings and tried to bat out the innings till the very last over, providing stability to the South African batting line.
Smith was another batsman with limited abilities but he achieved much more than those abilities may have allowed. He was a strong bottom handed player, particularly through the onside. Infact, he would take such a liking to stroke play on the onside that he used to drag balls outside off stump and flick them across the onside.
Strauss had his limitations as well but his strong mental strength and back foot play made him effective. He used to wait it out and play till the end, providing stability to the struggling English side at the time.
Cook is yet another limited range player but his patience and persistence has made him effective. He continues to rotate the strike, playing to his strengths against both, spin and fast bowlers. Cook’s method of stroke play has proven successful for him and he is on his way to becoming the best test batsman from the English ranks ever, thanks to his consistent performances against all sides.
Flower was a good batsman but he could have been even better had he been playing for a stronger side. He had great ability to play under pressure and pull his side out of difficult situations. Flower took a liking to spin bowling and made the reverse sweep shot famous in cricket.
Anwar was a brilliant left handed batsman. He would perfectly time the ball with his attractive shots, cover drives, and especially employ the use of his wrists in his stroke play. He was definitely the best left handed batsman ever from Pakistan and one of the best left handed batsmen in the world.
If there is any other batsman who changed one-day cricket alongside Sanath Jayasurya, it was Saeed Anwar. He used to take apart bowling attacks during the first 15 overs with nothing more than his elegant strokes. Anwar was also the record holder for the highest score in one-day cricket until the ODI rules changed.
Source: Saqib Malik