Greatest left handed XI

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Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Fri 14 Aug 2015, 10:09 pm

Sorry to fill this board with two topics from myself in one day. Hug

However I was reading the Beeb article below about the greatest left handed side of all time and thought it was an interesing idea for discussion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/33910167

The TMS selected side is a bit of a hodge podge in my opinion. The inclusion of Karen Rolton, whilst a wonderful player, creates room for comparisons that we can't realistically make given the disparity between the men and womens game. As such I have selected my side below on the following criteria:

- It is a side to compete in tests

- It is a mens side. As mentioned above, comparisons between the mens and womens game are extremely difficult to make and can often lead to fairly fraught discussions.

- A player being left handed is dictated by their strongest skill set. I.e. if a batsmen batted left handed he isn't excluded from selection if he happened to turn his arm over for some rank right arm over.

- With regards to genuine all rounders I would say that they need to be left handed for both facets. However given the presence of one Garfield Sobers as a left handed batsmen, left hand swing bowler, left arm orthodox and left arm chinamen I expect this could be taken as read!

1.Graeme Smith
2.Mathew Hayden
3.Kumar Sangakarra
4.Graeme Pollock
5.Brian Lara
6.Gary Sobers
7.Adam Gilchrist (wk)
8.Chaminda Vaas
9.Wasim Akram
10.Mitchell Johnson
11.Derek Underwood

Honourable mentions:

At the top of the order Cook is pushing Biff close.

In the middle order I probably had the most queries. Alan Border was closest to miss out here, especially given mmy struggle to pick a captain. Clive Lloyd also came to mind for this reason. Andy Flower I have always been a huge admirer of as well. as a nod to my England bias I as always struggled to overlook the elegance of David Gower. From more modern day players Mike Hussey, Chanderpaul and Graham Thorpe crossed my mind.

In the bowling stakes Bishan Bedi misses out very narrowly as I was tempted to go with two spinners. Given Sobers ability to bowl a few spinners and Underwood loving a long spell I decided against it however.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 14 Aug 2015, 11:10 pm

You can't have Hayden in there without Langer.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 1:41 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:You can't have Hayden in there without Langer.

With Biff loitering near by looking surly with a better average and more runs I'm afraid I could Hammer.

Langer is one of my favourite players. He was so obdurate at the top of the order. Then when he got in he could crucify any poor bowling.

However I rate Smith that bit more highly I'm afraid.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 6:59 am

Good XI. A left hander's XI is not short of batsmen, but by god is it light on bowlers. I'd venture the same, actually (in one of the few times Raf agrees with anyone on 606). Or at least mostly the same.

Here we go
Hayden
Smith
Sangakkara
Lara
Sobers
Hussey
Gilchrist
Akram
Johnson
Herath
Davidson

It took me a relative eternity to decide on the #11. Vaas and Zaheer Khan had the numbers, but they bore me, and I don't like picking bowlers (especially fast bowlers) who bore me. I also don't like picking Players I've only seen snippets of, so I was hesitant regarding Davidson. This left me with, uh... Mitchell Starc. At which point I decided the second best average post-war can't be too bad eh?

Smith vs Langer was also a little difficult (Cook unfortunately didn't come into it until I read your OP). Rate Smith higher, but I was worried he'd be a little too similar to Hayden. Decided c'est la vie and picked Smith.

Andy Flower vs Adam Gilchrist was also tough. But Gilchrist is my favourite cricketer ever, so there isn't an XI I've yet to encounter where I haven't squeezed him in.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 6:59 am

Good XI. A left hander's XI is not short of batsmen, but by god is it light on bowlers. I'd venture the same, actually (in one of the few times Raf agrees with anyone on 606). Or at least mostly the same.

Here we go
Hayden
Smith
Sangakkara
Lara
Sobers
Hussey
Gilchrist
Akram
Johnson
Herath
Davidson

It took me a relative eternity to decide on the #11. Vaas and Zaheer Khan had the numbers, but they bore me, and I don't like picking bowlers (especially fast bowlers) who bore me. I also don't like picking Players I've only seen snippets of, so I was hesitant regarding Davidson. This left me with, uh... Mitchell Starc. At which point I decided the second best average post-war can't be too bad eh?

Smith vs Langer was also a little difficult (Cook unfortunately didn't come into it until I read your OP). Rate Smith higher, but I was worried he'd be a little too similar to Hayden. Decided c'est la vie and picked Smith.

Andy Flower vs Adam Gilchrist was also tough. But Gilchrist is my favourite cricketer ever, so there isn't an XI I've yet to encounter where I haven't squeezed him in.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 8:21 am

Carlos - another cracking article with a strong and balanced side. Possibly Vettori might challenge Underwood for his place.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 8:32 am

Not to try convince anyone or anything, but Herath is busy spinning* India to oblivion.

Spin is a strong term. Maybe "Accurately darting on a dustbowl"

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 8:59 am

Raf - Herath was utterly useless when he had a spell with Surrey (?2009). That automatically rules him out of any Greatest left handed XI for me and possibly Carlos too. Wink

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by msp83 on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 1:05 pm

Graeme Smith,
Matthew Hayden
Kumar Sangakkara
Brian Lara
Mike Hussey
Garry Sovers
Adam Gilchrist
Mitchell Johnson
Chaminda Vaas
Wasim Akram
Bishan Singh Bedi
A couple of positions I had to think about. Dan Vettori is a favorite player of mine. The greatest number 8 with the bat, solid bowler too. However since there is only 1 spinner in the attack, thought it has to be a more attacking option and so opted for Bedi.
Both Vaas and Zaheer Khan are fine bowlers who could swing the ball. Zaheer is again a favorite, but for staying on the park for more, and for the kind of step up he gave to his side, and for his additional batting abilities, I opted for Vaas. And if that is not enough, try expanding WPUJC, that alone should get him through!!

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 6:58 pm

Interesting topic. Think, personally, that Hayden, Sangakkara, Lara, Pollock, Sobers, Gilchrist, Davidson and Akram are shoe-ins (although Andy Flower is worthy of a mention for keeper). Smith is probably up there as well, although he might be challenged by the likes of Langer, Arthur Morris or Gary Kirsten. Other batsmen worthy of a mention include Chiv Chanderpaul or Clive Lloyd. On the bowling front Hedley Verity, Bill Johnston, Bruce Reid even Bill Voce could all be in contention. Personally I would go:

Graeme Smith (c)
Matthew Hayden
Kumar Sangakkara
Brian Lara
Gary Sobers
Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Adam Gilchrist (wk)
Wasim Akram
Alan Davidson
Hedley Verity
Bill Johnston

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 7:34 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Raf - Herath was utterly useless when he had a spell with Surrey (?2009). That automatically rules him out of any Greatest left handed XI for me and possibly Carlos too. Wink
I'm afraid I do have a conundrum there with Herath. On the one hand I rate him as consistently one of the best spinners in test cricket for a number of years. I rally like how he bowls with his fantastic control of flight and ability to 'work out' and manipulate a batsmen - a skill lost on many spinners who grew up in T20 and often look to 'spear it in'.

On the other hand as you say he was another name in a long list of disappointing overseas acquisitions at the Oval over the last few years.

It was a stigma that almost made me overlook Biff as well! I decided in the end that one season of more shopping and Manchester United matches than cricket didn't quite outweigh the small matter of over 9000 test runs at over 48. Whistle

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 7:41 pm

kingraf wrote:Good XI. A left hander's XI is not short of batsmen, but by god is it light on bowlers. I'd venture the same, actually (in one of the few times Raf agrees with anyone on 606). Or at least mostly the same.

Yes I was surprised by just how few bowlers there were to chose from! Davidson I would pick on merit and if selecting a side to play more mortgage he would be in there instead of Vaas. Or I would pick two spinners and have 8.Davidson 9.Akram 10.Underwood 11.Bedi.

However having never really been aware of Davidson beyond his exceptional statistics I decided to go with Vaas as he was a bowler I liked watching. Given he only hovered around the 80mph mark he often wasn't particularly exciting to watch no. But he had a wonderful control of swing which was great to watch at his best.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 8:02 pm

On the topic of a lack of bowlers. I was planning on making an England left hand XI so we could have some arbitrary fun discussing which country had the best lefties.

Unless we select an attack of spinners and Ryan Sidebottom it really is slim pickings however. In fact only 9 left arm pace bowlers have taken over 20 test wicket for England!

1.John Edrich
2.Alistair Cook
3.Marcus Trescothick
4.Graham Thorpe
5.David Gower
6.Phil Mead
7.Jack Russel (wk)
8.Johnny Wardle
9.Tony Underwood
10.Ryan Sidebottom
11.John Lever

I know it's hypocritical to not pick Davidson but have Phil Mead. However 156 first class centuries was just too much to ignore.

The spinners were numerous with Tony Lock, Hadley Verity and Wilfred Rhodes unfortunate to miss out with exceptional records. In the end Wardle's ability to bowl chinamen as well as orthodox saw him through.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 8:07 pm

king_carlos wrote:On the topic of a lack of bowlers. I was planning on making an England left hand XI so we could have some arbitrary fun discussing which country had the best lefties.

Unless we select an attack of spinners and Ryan Sidebottom it really is slim pickings however. In fact only 9 left arm pace bowlers have taken over 20 test wicket for England!

1.John Edrich
2.Alistair Cook
3.Marcus Trescothick
4.Graham Thorpe
5.David Gower
6.Phil Mead
7.Jack Russel (wk)
8.Johnny Wardle
9.Tony Underwood
10.Ryan Sidebottom
11.John Lever

I know it's hypocritical to not pick Davidson but have Phil Mead. However 156 first class centuries was just too much to ignore.

The spinners were numerous with Tony Lock, Hadley Verity and Wilfred Rhodes unfortunate to miss out with exceptional records. In the end Wardle's ability to bowl chinamen as well as orthodox saw him through.

Bill Voce and Frank Foster for Lever and Wardle.

Eddie Paynter or Maurice Leyland could come in in place of Mead.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by msp83 on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 9:40 pm

Thought of putting together an Indian left-handed 11. Found it to be very, very difficult.
Gautam Gambhir
Shikhar Dhawan
Vinod Kambli
Sourav Ganguly (C)
Ravi Shastri
Yuvraj Singh
Parthiv Patel
Irfan Pathan
Ravindra Jadeja
Zaheer Khan
Bishan Bedi.
Vinu Mankad, one of the top all-rounders of his time in the world couldn't make it to the side despite bowling left-arm spin as he batted right handed.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by LondonTiger on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 10:41 pm

king_carlos wrote:
9.Tony Underwood

Excellent winger, lousy scrum half. Also he is most definitely right handed.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 8:40 am

No surprise that Left armers are of rarer currency than left hand bats. Much harder to adopt a bowling arm than a batting stance. If I had to pick a South African XI with only left handers, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind I'd be barrell scraping.

Smith
Kirsten
(G) Pollock
Ashwell Prince
JP Duminy
Kepler Wessels
Trevor Goodard
Quinton de Kock
Willoughby
Paul Harris
Paul Adams

An okay enough batting line up, but circumstances demand two reasonable if not particularly good spinners, a medium pacer, and a left arm seamer are my attack.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Herman Jaeger on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 9:34 am

Yes indeed Gower and Lara would have been something to see. Always preferred watching Gower to Lara, but the latter was capable of compiling more larger innings and so in the grand scheme of things, and with his superior mindset, probably has to be regarded as the greater player. Though it has to be said, Gower was denied the chance to perform during his mature period. But in full flow, few sights on a cricket field can compare to David Gower. I don't think I've ever seen anyone time a ball like Gower, though Richards could time a ball. Chappell could time a square cut, as could Greenidge.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Galted on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 12:20 pm

kingraf wrote:No surprise that Left armers are of rarer currency than left hand bats. Much harder to adopt a bowling arm than a batting stance. If I had to pick a South African XI with only left handers, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind I'd be barrell scraping.

Smith
Kirsten
(G) Pollock
Ashwell Prince
JP Duminy
Kepler Wessels
Trevor Goodard
Quinton de Kock
Willoughby
Paul Harris
Paul Adams

An okay enough batting line up, but circumstances demand two reasonable if not particularly good spinners, a medium pacer, and a left arm seamer are my attack.

Brett Schultz and Stephen Jefferies would be a decent pace attack.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 12:28 pm

Cheers G-Dog. Couldn't remember Brett Schultz and I was determined to do this without resorting to a search engine. Not sure about Jeffries, but given the fact that I really am scraping, he's a reasonable pick.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Galted on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 12:53 pm

He sprayed it about a bit but was capable of delivering the unplayable ball.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 1:58 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
king_carlos wrote:On the topic of a lack of bowlers. I was planning on making an England left hand XI so we could have some arbitrary fun discussing which country had the best lefties.

Unless we select an attack of spinners and Ryan Sidebottom it really is slim pickings however. In fact only 9 left arm pace bowlers have taken over 20 test wicket for England!

1.John Edrich
2.Alistair Cook
3.Marcus Trescothick
4.Graham Thorpe
5.David Gower
6.Phil Mead
7.Jack Russel (wk)
8.Johnny Wardle
9.Tony Underwood
10.Ryan Sidebottom
11.John Lever

I know it's hypocritical to not pick Davidson but have Phil Mead. However 156 first class centuries was just too much to ignore.

The spinners were numerous with Tony Lock, Hadley Verity and Wilfred Rhodes unfortunate to miss out with exceptional records. In the end Wardle's ability to bowl chinamen as well as orthodox saw him through.

Bill Voce and Frank Foster for Lever and Wardle.

Eddie Paynter or Maurice Leyland could come in in place of Mead.
Good alterations Hoggy. I was largely playing around with guys based on statistics with little knowledge beyond that really. They are definitely sides that would need so queestionable pitches produced to create rusults given the disparity between batting and bowling.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 1:59 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
9.Tony Underwood

Excellent winger, lousy scrum half. Also he is most definitely right handed.
Doh

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by king_carlos on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 2:04 pm

msp83 wrote:Thought of putting together an Indian left-handed 11. Found it to be very, very difficult.
Gautam Gambhir
Shikhar Dhawan
Vinod Kambli
Sourav Ganguly (C)
Ravi Shastri
Yuvraj Singh
Parthiv Patel
Irfan Pathan
Ravindra Jadeja
Zaheer Khan
Bishan Bedi.
Vinu Mankad, one of the top all-rounders of his time in the world couldn't make it to the side despite bowling left-arm spin as he batted right handed.
It's not an easy assingnment is it!

On the all rounder spot I was going to suggest loosening the rules for sole country XIs to strengthen them by saying only their dominant facet needed to be left handed. With Mankad both are very level however. He is undoubtedly a true all rounder as he could have got into the side on batting or bowling in his era. Overall his bowling was probably touch stronger so I reckon we can allow it. thumbsup

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by VTR on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 11:42 am

I may have missed it, but has anyone attempted an actual LH team, as the one the BBC put forward featured a lot of right handed players who bat with a left-handed stance.

I suspect this is why its hard to find bowlers, as a lot of the LH batsmen are not really anything of the sort.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by alfie on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 12:38 pm

VTR wrote:I may have missed it, but has anyone attempted an actual LH team, as the one the BBC put forward featured a lot of right handed players who bat with a left-handed stance.

I suspect this is why its hard to find bowlers, as a lot of the LH batsmen are not really anything of the sort.

Now you're getting tricky : how do we define left handed for this purpose ? After all as you say many left handed batsmen are anything but - they bowl (if they do) and generally throw with the right hand. And conversely a fair few left handed bowlers bat right handed...
Think it has to be down to stance if picking a batsman , and of course bowling arm for the attack. So to be picked as an all rounder the candidate must fulfill both of these requirements.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by VTR on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 12:44 pm

alfie wrote:
VTR wrote:I may have missed it, but has anyone attempted an actual LH team, as the one the BBC put forward featured a lot of right handed players who bat with a left-handed stance.

I suspect this is why its hard to find bowlers, as a lot of the LH batsmen are not really anything of the sort.

Now you're getting tricky : how do we define left handed for this purpose ? After all as you say many left handed batsmen are anything but - they bowl (if they do) and generally throw with the right hand. And conversely a fair few left handed bowlers bat right handed...
Think it has to be down to stance if picking a batsman , and of course bowling arm for the attack.  So to be picked as an all rounder the candidate must fulfill both of these requirements.

Well its a challenge for someone, and something I will attempt when I have a bit more time!

For me, if someone throws and bowls with their left hand then they are almost certainly left-handed, so my definition is someone that is left-handed in day to day life. I am interested as a left-hander myself, and thought it was a poor/lazy show by the BBC to have a team to represent our day that had a load of people not in the club included in it Smile

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 12:55 pm

In which case, Clarke for Hussey.
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 12:58 pm

I'm a Southpaw myself, VTR. Bowl right hand off spin though. Take a southpaw stance when boxing. play table tennis left handed. Play tennis ambidextrously. I agree that the Beeb's list seems rather haphazard
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by VTR on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 2:27 pm

kingraf wrote:I'm a Southpaw myself, VTR. Bowl right hand off spin though. Take a southpaw stance when boxing. play table tennis left handed. Play tennis ambidextrously. I agree that the Beeb's list seems rather haphazard

Impressive on the bowling with the wrong hand, at the rate my initial foray into finding a true LH eleven is going you might well make the team! I started with a few names I am more familiar with: Cook, Gower, Thorpe, Lara and I would say they aren't true left-handers.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Stella on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 2:53 pm

Hayden
Morris
Sangakkara
Lara
Harvey
Sobers
Gilchrist
Akram
Johnson
Davidson
Vaas


Last edited by Stella on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 2:56 pm

kingraf wrote:I'm a Southpaw myself, VTR. Bowl right hand off spin though. Take a southpaw stance when boxing. play table tennis left handed. Play tennis ambidextrously. I agree that the Beeb's list seems rather haphazard

Well it was not a considered list. It was merely a discussion during a rain delay in the women's test that was then turned into a Web article. They only included players they had actually seen. Inclusion of rolton is understandable - after all it was the women's test. Inclusion of Ganguly - forcing Sanga to open not excusable. after all Smith, Hayden and Langer all better choices and not hard to remember.

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by Stella on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 3:30 pm

An Aussie XI

Hayden
Morris
Harvey
Border
Hussey
Matthews (better batsman than bowler)
Gilchrist
Johnson
Davidson
Starc
Reid
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by VTR on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 3:43 pm

This is my true left-handers team, to be added to as I identify them:

1. Tendulkar (writes left-handed, good enough for me!)
2.
3. David Gower (apparently writes left-handed despite bowling some right arm filth)
4. Inzaman (need to check this one)
5. Michael Clarke (definitely bowls and throws left-handed)
6. Gary Sobers
7.
8. Wasim Akram
9. Mitchell Johnson
10. Zaheer Khan
11. Derek Underwood

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by shivfan on Tue 08 Sep 2015, 10:34 am

Chanderpaul has to be there.....
Cool
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Tue 08 Sep 2015, 6:00 pm

kingraf wrote:No surprise that Left armers are of rarer currency than left hand bats. Much harder to adopt a bowling arm than a batting stance. If I had to pick a South African XI with only left handers, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind I'd be barrell scraping.

Smith
Kirsten
(G) Pollock
Ashwell Prince
JP Duminy
Kepler Wessels
Trevor Goodard
Quinton de Kock
Willoughby
Paul Harris
Paul Adams

An okay enough batting line up, but circumstances demand two reasonable if not particularly good spinners, a medium pacer, and a left arm seamer are my attack.

Ouch. That's not the greatest line-up. Even allowing for the fact that SA doesn't have the same base of players to pick from, that seems disproportionately weak. Really only Pollock and Smith that stand out. I wonder why that is?

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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by KP_fan on Tue 08 Sep 2015, 10:25 pm

Hayden
Graeme Smith
Lara
Gower
Gary Sobers
Border*
Gilchrist
Alan Davidson
Akram
Zaheer Khan
Bedi

12man...Cook
13th man....Underwood
14th Man...Vaas
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Re: Greatest left handed XI

Post by kingraf on Wed 09 Sep 2015, 11:44 am

Well, I suppose there are a couple reasons, to be honest.

for one, South Africa were pretty abject at cricket until about 1953. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to see our sole function seemed to be nothing more than helping players average 100. So from that perspective, you can't actually pick too many, if any players before then.

I also remember posting an article a year or two ago about how Malcolm Marshall's wickets comprised of about 15% left handers, while the number for Steyn is 30%, so there weren't all too many left handers in any case.

For the bowlers, maybe a case of South Africa not needing to find left armers too often as basically since the moment we got re integration, we've had at least one All time great fast bowler operating.

We're also a traditionally conservative country in approach, so a "radical" left armer was never something really looked for.
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