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Left is right for Twenty20

india Updated: May 17, 2009 01:20 IST
Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri
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Do left-handers have an edge in this format? The statistics would make us believe so. Five of the top seven batsmen, including the top three, are left-handers. In the bowling department, three of the top four turn their left arm over, while among the next two, there is another left-armer.

In the first edition of the IPL, the top three batsmen — Shaun Marsh, Gautam Gambhir and Sanath Jayasuriya — were left-handers. Of the top eight batsmen in the inaugural edition, only two were right-handers. The chart-topper in bowling was Sohail Tanvir — a left-arm pace bowler.

History suggests there have been more right-handers than left-handers in cricket. But there's been a rise of the latter kind in recent years as almost every team has a left-handed opener — Gautam Gambhir, Chris Gayle, Andrew Strauss, Graeme Smith, Salman Butt, Shaun Marsh/Simon Katich.

These days, teams are picking left-handers even if they are not the best batsmen in the unit. The T20 matches happen so fast that you can actually confuse a fielding side by keeping a right-left combination. Before your opponent could find a solution to it, the game would have swung away.

I think there is a possibility that the Man of the Series and the Man of the final could be a left-hander or a left-armer.