Although cricket is a team game, it is undeniable that a good batsman in a team provides confidence. With the change in the format of cricket, the nature and pace of the game have changed. Earlier, the nature of the game made the batsmen hold on to their wickets and play a defensive match. Now with the T20 format, the batsmen are given the liberty to charge from the beginning of the game. The change in structure and the necessity of chasing big runs within a short time have led to the development of a group of talented batsmen in International cricket. The cricketing video of their strikes is as fascinating as observing them on the spot. Among these skilled batsmen, some are left-handed crusaders. Hence, reading cricket news is a good idea to learn more about these players.
Since there are so many excellent left-handed batsmen in International cricket, it is too difficult to make a list of the top 5 among them. Still, in order of achievement and contribution to the game of cricket, the following left-handed batsmen have been listed:
Brian Charles Lara, a Trinidadian international cricketer, is regarded as one of the greatest left-handed batsmen in the world. Lara’s batting magic has kept the audience astonished for years. He holds several records as gems of his brilliant batting career. He holds the credit for having the highest individual score of 501 not out in 1994 while playing for Warwickshire in a match against Durham. He created another record of being the highest individual scorer in test cricket, with a 400 not out in a match against England in the 4th test at Antigua.
According to the great Sri Lankan bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lara is the most formidable batsman in the world for a bowler to face. Lara stunned the spectators with this match-winning performance of 153 not out against Australia in Bridgetown. This super performance has been accepted as the second-best feat by any cricketer in test cricket. Besides Sir Garfield Sobers and Shane Warne, Brian Lara is the third cricketer to get the honour of the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award.
2. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara is one of the most dedicated left-handed batsmen from Sri Lankan soil to storm the cricket world. Because of his unmatched performance, he is considered among the first three International batsmen of all time. Sangakkara’s top-notch performances made him the second highest scorer in the One Day Internationals, and the sixth highest scorer in test matches.
He is currently the coach of the Rajasthan Royals Indian Premier League team. Apart from being a wonderful batsman, he also acted as a skilled wicketkeeper. Sangakkara’s achievement remains unchallenged to date with an enormous 28,016 runs in International cricket in all formats within just 15 years.
3. Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly is the pride of Indian cricket. Sourav’s gradual prosperity from a left-handed batsman to the position of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is like a fairy tale.
He has shown his merit in every role he played. He is popularly addressed as “Dada’ and is considered to be the Maharaja of Indian Cricket. He established himself as the lead batsman of the team, besides being one of the most successful captains of the Indian Cricket team. He was a champion of striking the offside balls and earned himself the name of ‘God of the Offside’.
Ganguly was destined to be a cricketer. His initial interest was in football and his brother, Snehasish was the one more interested in cricket. His brother brought him into the field of cricket and Ganguly’s talents became visible in the school games and Indian domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy and Duleep trophy. When Ganguly got his first opportunity to represent India, he made all the spectators speechless with a mind-blowing 131 on the England tour. His subsequent successful performances in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, cemented his position in the Indian Team. His partnership of 318 runs with Rahul Dravid in the 1999 World Cup is the highest-ever partnership run in any World Cup tournament.
4. Adam Gilchrist
Australian cricketer, adam Craig Gilchrist played a defining role in international cricket as a left-handed batsman and a successful wicketkeeper. His aggressive batting style impressed the cricketing world. His world record of most dismissals is only second to the Sri Lankan cricketer, Kumar Sangakkara. He also holds the record for the fourth-fastest century in a test cricket match for scoring a century in just 57 balls against England in December 2006.
Gilchrist holds the rare opportunity of representing his country in three World Cups, namely 1999, 2003 and 2007. His batting score of 149 runs from 104 balls against Sri Lanka is one of the greatest ever innings played in a World cup. Gilchrist often walked out of the cricket pitch when he felt sure of being out, irrespective of the decision of the umpire. He played 270 One Day Internationals and 96 test matches for Australia before retiring from International cricket in March 2008.
5. David Gower
David Ivon Gower is comparatively older than the previously mentioned left-handed batsmen. Gower combined style with action to leave his mark as the captain of the England team, besides being one of the highest-scoring batsmen of his era. His credit includes the glorious presence in 114 One Day Internationals and 117 Test matches. Gower has a very impressive achievement of 26,339 runs at an average of 40.08 runs and 53 stunning centuries in first-class cricket. His retirement from International cricket did not prevent him from shining in a new avatar. He became one of the most successful commentators for Sky Sports and occupied a permanent position of honour in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on July 16, 2009.
The number of left-handers is less than the number of right-handers in the world. This also holds in the case of cricketers. The number of left-handed batsmen is far less than the right-handers, but some of these left-handers are undoubtedly power blasters. Their performance has changed the scenario of cricket matches creating unbeatable records in world cricket.
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