If you are a cricket fan you will have heard the various tales of swashbuckling left-handers, taking apart attacks with aplomb on every continent.
Whether there is any truth in these stories, well there isn’t really, but there has long been an appreciation of a stylish left-hander, from Gower to Lara, lefties
Bowlers also might not always have the expertise to quickly cope with a player who adopts a different stance or forces a bowler to stay on one side of the wicket.
So, as the bowlers are taken off guard, the boundaries can be scored more frequently, and a left-hand, right-hand combo is one which has frustrated captains since cricket began.
Even though Australian scientists have refuted claims that left-handed cricketers, particularly batsmen, have an inherent advantage, batting statistics show different results.
In this article, we will look at the top five greatest left-handed batsmen that cricket has ever produced.
1. Brian Lara: The Greatest of All Time
When it comes to Brian Lara, the statistics never lie!
Former West Indian left-handed batsman Brian Lara has earned the right to be recognised as one of cricket’s all-time players.
Along with his appearances for the West Indian cricket team, he also played for several other teams, including Marylebone Cricket Club, Mumbai Champs, Northern Transvaal, Southern Rocks and Warwickshire.
In 132 international test matches, he scored 11953 runs overall in 232 innings. 400 not out was Lara’s greatest test match score of his career. In international test cricket, Lara scored 34 hundred, 48 half-centuries and he added six not-out innings to his resume.
In addition, Brian Lara amassed 10405 runs overall in 299 One-Day International games throughout his active cricket career.
2. Adam Gilchrist: The Australian Star
Adam Gilchrist had to wait for his test debut before making his comparatively late-career appearance in Test Cricket at age 27.
Through 33 centuries in all formats, and a respectable test average of 47.60, the wicketkeeper-batsman made up for the lost time. Adam Gilchrist is most commonly known as the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman of all time.
In addition to his appearances for the Australian cricket team, he also played for the Kings XI Punjab, Middlesex, Deccan Chargers, Western Australia and New South Wales.
Out of 96 international test matches, he scored 5570 runs overall in 137 innings. Gilchrist also achieved a test match score of 204, the greatest of his career.
In international test cricket, Gilchrist scored 17 centuries, 26 half-centuries and contributed 20 not-out innings for his country.
Adam Gilchrist also amassed 9619 runs overall in 287 ODI games during his active cricket career. His ODI score of 172 was the highest of his career. In ODIs, he scored 16 tons and 55 half-centuries.
3. Kumar Sangakara: The Srilankan Legend
From the late 1990s onward, several players helped Sri Lanka become a world-class team.
When it comes to batting, Kumar Sangakkara was the most entertaining to watch- and he is undoubtedly the most successful left-hander in his nation’s history.
Sangakkara made a stunning entrance onto the cricket scene. The selectors were persuaded of his talent with a scorching 156 against Zimbabwe A in 2000.
At just 22, he was given a spot in the one-day team. In his second game, he received his first Man of the Match award. In his eleventh Test, he got his first Test century after being dismissed in the 90s twice before.
In 134 test matches throughout his active test career, he scored 12400 runs. In the test circuit, he recorded 38 centuries and 58 half-centuries.
In his ODI career, he made 14235 runs overall in 404 games. In ODIs, he scored 25 centuries and 93 half-centuries, while the ODI score of 169 was the highest of his career.
4. Sourav Ganguly: The Prince of Calcutta
When it comes to batting, the Indian team has always produced legends. However, the left-hander that stands out is none other than Sourav Ganguly!
He was the greatest left-handed batsman for India and one of the most respected and successful captains the team ever produced.
In 113 international test matches, he scored 7212 runs overall in 188 innings. Ganguly achieved a highest test match score of 239 in his career.
In international test cricket, he scored 16 hundred, 35 half-centuries and played 17 innings without getting dismissed.
In addition, Sourav Ganguly accumulated 11363 runs overall in 311 One-Day International games throughout his cricket career. His ODI score of 183 was the highest of his career.
5. Saeed Anwar: The Pakistani Superstar
Saeed Anwar was one of the greatest openers ever in the ODI format of the game and he was a productive left-handed batter.
Anwar, a flashy left-hander, had success in ODIs right away. Every time he came to the pitch, he was known for his impeccable placing and majestic timing.
Out of the 55 international test matches ever played, he scored a total of 4052 runs in 91 innings. In international test cricket, he scored 11 centuries and 25 half-centuries.
In addition, Saeed Anwar amassed 8824 runs in 247 ODI games during his active cricket career, with a career-best ODI score of 194.
Mathew Hayden, David Gower, Ben Stokes, Graeme Pollock, Garry Sobers, Sanath Jayasuriya, David Warner… hundreds of other cricket players can be added to this list of legends!
Which Left-handers Make Your Top 5?
Whether you agree with my list or not, there is something about left-handed batters that makes them distinctive!
The elegance in their stance and the authority in their strokes are unparalleled…
Batters who play with their left hand are considered an asset for the team, and it is always better to have some in your squad, and it frustrates the hell out of fielders, especially the fine leg!