Righties vs lefties: 1980 – 2013

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By Vicboy, Vicboy is a Roar Rookie

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    The last few years have seen the Australian Test batting order heavily dominated by left handers.

    When I was growing up, there was a preference for a left handed opener to upset the bowlers rhythm in a right-handed dominant order.

    Now most of our batsman are left-handers. There are also more left handed bowlers.

    After the last few weeks of ‘top ten’ lists on The Roar, I got to thinking about which would be the stronger team.

    The following are two teams, one made up of Australian left handed batsmen, the other made up of Australian right handers.

    The team is made up of players who appeared for Australia from 1983 to now.

    Who would win, the lefties or the righties?

    Lefties: Matt Hayden, Mark Taylor, Justin Langer, Simon Katich, Allan Border, Michael Hussey, Adam Gilchrist, Rodney Hogg, Mitchell Johnson, Bruce Reid and Doug Bollinger.

    Righties: David Boon, Michael Slater, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Waugh, Dean Jones, Ian Healy, Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie, Merv Hughes and Glenn McGrath.

    Although I am an unabashed Ponting disciple, I think the lefties have a stronger batting order (ignoring the last two of course).

    However, the lefties would need that batting order as their bowling attack cannot compare to the righties, spearheaded by Warne and McGrath.

    On the strength of the bowling, I award the righties as the winners.

    Apologies to Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and any others who were before my time.

    What do you think, Roarers? Did I forget anyone?

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • February 1st 2013 @ 7:13am
      Rugby Realist said | February 1st 2013 @ 7:13am | ! Report

      Good article.

      It is very interesting when you ignore the bowlers (as that is and has been clearly dominated by right handers across cricket) that the left handed team is arguably stronger

      Does anyone have the percent of aussie batsmen (preferably top7) that have been left handed across the scope of the article?

      • Roar Guru

        February 1st 2013 @ 8:20am
        biltongbek said | February 1st 2013 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        Statistically by average, batsmen who played more than 10 tests.

        MJ Clarke
        RT Ponting
        A Border
        MEK Hussey
        G Chappel
        S Waugh
        M Hayden

    • Roar Guru

      February 1st 2013 @ 8:33am
      Atawhai Drive said | February 1st 2013 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      Vicboy, interesting piece. But I could swear that Rodney Hogg batted right-handed.

      • February 1st 2013 @ 9:31am
        Bayman said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:31am | ! Report


        …and bowled right-handed unless age is playing tricks on me.

        • February 1st 2013 @ 11:03am
          Pope Paul VII said | February 1st 2013 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          Hoggy’s brain was left handed though

    • February 1st 2013 @ 9:10am
      Pies&Beer said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      No Mark Waugh? He was as elegant as they come. Magnificent right handed batsmen, he really was Michael Clarke before Clarke came around.

      • February 1st 2013 @ 9:31am
        Fivehole said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Yeah, but then you’d have to drop Deano, and judging by the Authors handle, i don’t think he’d be too keen on that!

    • February 1st 2013 @ 9:14am
      Nicko said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Rodney Hogg was definitely right-handed. Did you mean Brad Hogg? If so, hope its a one-dayer. that would even the teams up a bit.

    • February 1st 2013 @ 9:20am
      Jason said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      Michael Bevan could be your left handed spinner.

      And are Lillee and Chappell excluded because of the cut off? Both played tests in 1984.

      • February 1st 2013 @ 9:21am
        Jason said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        And I’d prefer Fleming to Hughes.

        • February 1st 2013 @ 9:23am
          Nicko said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          McDermott ahead both of them for me. In The lefties, yeah bin Hogg and Taylor, Kat and Langer to move up and add Lehmann and Bevan

          • February 1st 2013 @ 9:39am
            Old Creeker said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

            Still two pretty good teams, though…

            • February 1st 2013 @ 9:48am
              Nicko said | February 1st 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report


    • February 1st 2013 @ 10:25am
      Mango Jack said | February 1st 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      Does anyone know why there is such a disproportionate number of left handers in elite cricket (actually, elite sport in general, I suspect)? I remember my dad explaining that in tennis, it may have something to do with the decisive game point being served to the left-handers forehand. which is generally stronger. Is it because it is harder for right handers to bowl to left handers, and for righ hand bowlers to face left handers because there aren’t as many of them in club/school cricket, so lefties naturally rise to the top?

      Any ideas?

      • February 1st 2013 @ 10:52am
        Jason said | February 1st 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        I reckon the rise of left handed batsmen is because it is easier to bat against right handed bowlers. It is also the reason why there are more left handed bowlers now ie it is easier to bowl to left handed batsmen.

        I do wonder if modern batting style of putting the front foot down the pitch and swinging freely is more conducive to natural right handers batting left handed. The stroke is not dissimilar to a double handed backhand for a righthander in tennis.

        I also wonder ift “handedness” is less important than eye dominance.

      • February 1st 2013 @ 8:07pm
        Maggie said | February 1st 2013 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

        It’s because the majority of them are not left handers – they are right handers who bat in the so-called ‘left handed’ facing position, which gives them the advantage of having their stronger hand at the top of the bat. As a cricket coach once said (as quoted by Roebuck in an article on this topic) imagine how many runs Bradman would have got if he had held the bat in a left-handed position.

        • February 1st 2013 @ 8:20pm
          Mango Jack said | February 1st 2013 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

          I don’t get that. Doesn’t the power in your shot come from your lower hand, which is therefore normally your dominant hand? Are you saying that most of these players deliberately changed at some point in their playing days?

          • February 1st 2013 @ 10:52pm
            Maggie said | February 1st 2013 @ 10:52pm | ! Report

            The power should come from your top hand which is why it is better to have your dominant hand at the top.Look at the way a tennis player holds a racquet. Dominant hand at top of racquet for a single-handed forehand, dominant hand at top for a double-handed backhand. Most right handers who bat ‘left-handed’ (and there are a lot of them) do so from 1. natural inclination (it felt right as a kid) and/or 2. because they got coached to play that way and/or 3. as a kid they imitated a top batsman (e.g Mike Hussey imitating Allan Border). In regard to coaching (and I don’t know if this is just co-incidence) Michael Clarke, a natural left-hander, bats right-handed and Phillip Hughes, a natural right hander, bats left-handed – and they were both coached by Neil D’Costa.

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