In the last three decades, the game of cricket has been changed to a completely different level. Earlier, the technique was to play defensive cricket from the start to reach the target but now the team has a different approach towards the target to play aggressive cricket from the word go.
With the risk-taking mindset, teams have confined their batsmen to breach any mark to even go to set a scary total on the board. Batsman have the full licence in the batsman-friendly pitches to play cricket attacking pace. it’s very difficult to pick when you have so many greats in the game. I know many will disagree with my choice of selection and when it comes to left handed batsman it is very hard to decide. As we facts state, left-handed batsmen are more good than right handed batsmen.
Cricket is definitely a team game but having the left-right combination of batsman in the team is more dangerous over others. Isn't it good to see left handed batsman clearing the ropes so perfectly with his flick?
For right handed bowlers, it’s not possible to catch the left handed batsman in front of wickets from over the wicket. Either ball pitches outside the line or if it pitches inside it misses the stumps completely.
With this advantage, left-handed batsmen have to breach any stands or clear any rope around the ground. They are assets for the team even in the bowling side. Left handed bowlers are more precise with their angle and seam movement in the early overs or in the slog overs.
Here we picked the top 5 greatest left-handed batsmen in the history of cricket:
1. Sanath Jayasuriya:
One of the most destructive opening batsman for Sri Lanka for a decade was definitely “Sanath Jayasuriya”. The man who redefined the role of an opening batsman in the era of bowlers like Wasim Akhram, Brett Lee, Shoiab Akhtar and Allan Donald.
“See the Ball Hit the Ball"
The approach was very right from his left-handed batsman and the way dominated the bowlers when there were no fielding restrictions. Especially, in the first 15 overs with hard clean hitting abilities.
Not just a batsman but he was equally good as a bowler too with 323 wickets under his belt in 445 games he played Sri Lanka. The most dominating aspect of his batting was that he had scored 13,430 runs in 445 matches in ODI for Sri Lanka.
Most of his runs he had scored when there was no T-20 cricket as the role of an opening batsman to play safely but he was very good in his own techniques and cleared the ropes or even the crowd when stadiums were actually big.
Sanath Jayasuriya record:
Matches: 445; Runs: 13430; Avg: 32.13; 100s: 28 HS: 189
Contenders: Sourav Ganguly and Alastair cook
2. Adam Gilchrist:
The role of wicket-keeper was not good behind the stumps then with his batting skills. But this entertainer was completely different from others. Not only the greatest opening batsman for Australia but he was more dangerous with destructive hitting deep into the stands.
A gifted player with hand-eye coordination and excellent timing ability. Gilchrist along with partner in crime Mathew Hayden ripped apart the bowling attacks in the first half of the match.
Gilchrist had everything in his Arsenal from excellent cutter to puller on any ball short or full length. The important part of his batting was that he performed more dangerous on the ICC tournaments like world cups and helped Australia to win titles.
Adam Gilchrist record:
Matches: 287; Runs: 9619; Avg: 35.89; 100s: 16 HS: 172
Contenders: Gautam Gambhir, Andrew Strauss, and Stephen Fleming
3. Kumar Sangakkara:
The third one in the list is definitely Kumar Sangakkara. One of the most stylish and flamboyant left-handed batsman the game of cricket has ever witnessed. Former Sri Lanka captain and wicket-keeper batsman has done wonders for his team.
Oh, man! Those cover drives were awe-inspiring and that's the same emotions from the aficionados across the globe. Not just a wicketkeeper but equally good with his batting skills too. Having played around, in 404 games for Sri Lanka he scored 14,234 runs at the mind-boggling average of 41.98.
Kumar Sangakkara has the record of scoring 4 consecutive hundreds in world cup history. While in his whole career he scored 93 fifties and 25 centuries with the highest score 169.
Kumar Sangakkara record:
Matches: 404; Runs: 14234; Avg: 41.98; 100s: 25 HS: 169
Contenders: Graeme Smith, Allan Border, and Clive Lloyd
4. Saeed Anwar:
The next one in the list definitely Saeed Anwar. One of the greatest opening batsmen for Pakistan was Saeed Anwar and treat to watch the way his wrist stroke-making ability was. He was the man of a different breed and with sublime timing, perfect footwork along with hand-eye coordination he looked above the rest.
It was in the mid or late 90s, when he had formed a destructive opening pair with Aamir Sohail for Pakistan. Not only has the ability to score centuries but he had been tough to get out once he got settle and tool his team to victory many a times.
More than 8500 runs in his career along with 20 centuries under his belt he is second highest run better for Pakistan in One day international cricket.
Saeed Anwar record:
Matches: 247; Runs: 8824; Avg: 39.22; 100s: 20 HS: 194
Contenders: Yuvraj Singh and Micheal Bevan
5. Mathew Hayden:
It was tough to decide for the final contender of the list. The impact is still high above the scoring ability to runs. One of the most destructive opening batsman for Australia who could the course of game in just few overs. He was the part golden generation of Australian cricket under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting.
Tall, huge and with the imposing physique he formed the formidable opening pair with Adam Gilchrist and win games for Australia along with many records. Hayden had every shot in bag to disturb the line and length any bowler of his era.
Not just ability to score quick runs but ability to convert them big knocks was one of his trademark point. Having around, more than 6000 with the unbelievable average of 40+ was definitely a difficult task to achieve as a opener.
Mathew Hayden record:
Matches: 161; Runs: 6133; Avg: 43.81; 100s: 10 HS: 181
Contenders: Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul
In the cricket history section, Also read the Top 5 Greatest run chases in a test cricket history and The Top 5 Batsmen Who Held the Top Spot in ICC Ranking For the Longest