Tactics You Should be Using: Left-Right Hand Opening Batsmen | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Tactics You Should be Using: Left-Right Hand Opening Batsmen

There was once a time in cricket it was considered such an advantage to bat left handed that it was almost outlawed.


But we live in more enlightened times these day and there is not much chance of the MCC suddenly banning the southpaw.

Nevertheless, the high number of left-handers in international cricket demonstrates the advantage still remains.

So why not make the most of it by opening with a left-right hand combination?

Why open with a leftie?

One of the crucial elements of opening the bowling is to be able to hit a good line and length early. No opening bowler wants to give the opposition a flying start.

But having two different lines to bowl against a left-right partnership makes it pretty tough on the bowler. Just when they have found that perfect rhythm, a stolen single means the line needs to be adjusted again.

This is difficult and frustrating for the bowler and it means a few free hits for the batsman off their legs while adjustments are made.

Repeat this process for every bowling change and you soon see how the runs can stack up purely because of a left-right partnership.

Of course you need the right pair. Like all good openers they need to have an understanding when running between the wickets, be able to attack or dig in depending on the situation and be an excellent judge of the off stump (especially in longer format games).

But those things can be learned.

The main thing is you need a pair who are prepared to work together and take pride in taking full advantage of this tactic with good shot selection and running.

Twenty20 opening

The other big advantage of this method is in short-format cricket, especially if there is a powerplay in the opening overs.

With the emphasis on attack, an opener may try innovating hitting over midwicket or square leg. If both openers are the same hand this is the same area. With a left-right team it feels to the bowling side like they are getting hit to every corner.

So do you have a left hander in the team ready to open?

It could be the making of your season.

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Hi, I'm a bowler and in the past number of seasons I've got more ducks than anyone else in my club. I recently tried batting left handed, and it's about as difficult as batting right handed for me. Would it be worth my while switching now and teaching myself to play left handed? I can see it would be an advantage to face bowlers that have to adjust their line to bowl to me.

That would be unorthodox but if you really are so poor right handed then what have you got to lose?

From a skill development viewpoint it's actually no more difficult to learn to bat left or right handed because it's a 2 handed skill. It's just most right handed kids first pick up a bat with the strong hand as the bottom hand. That way feels more natural to kids who just want to swing across the line.

However, there is an argument that as you learn to play straight it's slightly better to have your strong hand at the top because that have the most influence.

Michael Hussy changed from right hand to left hand when he was a young boy, he changed because he saw aussie legend Allan Border batting in test matches for Australia, so he changed. Turned out to work for him

And humble too Moe Smiling

I think I might give it a try during the off season, see if I can build up some technique. I don't think I'll be opening the batting any time soon, but if I can get enough of a defense together to hold up the tail, maybe the constant changing of line will allow my partner to get some runs?

Worth a try as you say, thanks David.

I think the right left combo has worked in the past but as an opening bowler I rejoyce at seeing a lefthander coming to the crease and the right-left combo doesn't effect me at all.

I want to change my batting style from right-handed to left-handed. B'coz my my dominant hand is right hand. And my age is just 14 and i think i can do better with this batting style. So can you give me some tips to do this. Pls.

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