Left Handed Cricket Batting Tips

By Geoffrey Darling

Left handers should bat left handed and right handers right. It's all about the bottom hand; too much of which will scoop the ball skyward. To keep cricket shots on the ground, the bottom hand should provide control. Many cricketers, though naturally right handed, prefer to bat left handed as the advantages far outweigh disadvantages.

Advantages

The angle of delivery from the right-hand bowler over the wicket makes offside strokes more comfortable. The bowler has to adjust his line to a left hander. So if left and right handers bat together, take quick singles. Not only the bowler will have to make regular adjustments to his line, but the field will have to change constantly.

Be careful if the bowler delivers from wide of the stumps. The ball will travel further across the left hander and move more towards the slips. A straight delivery from a right-hand bowler can more easily be on-driven. Practice opening the right foot to such deliveries.

Left handers have more success at the top of the order as most opening bowlers are right handed, bowling right-arm outswing or leg-cutters, and prone to straying on to the left-hander's pads. Slow, left-arm bowlers are less troubling to the left-handed batsman than to right handers because the standard delivery becomes an off-break.

Disadvantages

Left handers will have to deal with more rough from the bowlers' footmarks as the game goes on. The majority of bowlers are right arm over the wicket and leave marks outside the left-hander's off-stump.

Tips for All

Keep your eyes level; it speeds up reaction time. Move your shoulders toward the line of the ball. The rest of the body will follow. Play the ball on length. Respect good length, punish bad. Watch the ball from the bowler's hand as he runs in. Try to identify which is the shiny side or rough side to help determine which way it might swing. Against spinners, take an initial front foot half-step as he bowls. Remain balanced throughout the stroke.

Equipment

Gloves are the only part of left-handed batting equipment that differs from right-handed. With the standard batting grip, the bottom (left) thumb is in front and needs greater protection than the right thumb. Bats and pads are essentially identical for left and right, though some suppliers feature left-handed pads.

Some top players prefer a bat whose outside edge has slightly harder, darker willow --with all those snicks through slips--so find a bat with a harder right face if you're left handed.

References

About the Author

Geoffrey Darling has been writing since 1980. In 2007, he received an Ohio Senate award for contribution to the arts, recognizing his work performing in Ohio prisons. Darling also worked for the New Zealand government as the Minister of Energy's press secretary and edited three small community newspapers.

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