Left-handers at the cricket stump get more runs, spend longer at the crease and hit the ball further than their right-handed counterparts
- Around 12% of population are left-handed but they comprise a third of cricketers
- Some right-handers use ‘reverse stance’ and bat with left hand below the right
- Successful left-handed batsmen include Brian Lara and England star Ben Stokes
Long praised as flamboyant or elegant, left-handed batsmen now have another reason to boast.
Research has found they score more runs, spend longer at the crease and hit the ball further than their right-handed counterparts.
Around 12 per cent of the population are left-handed but they comprise almost a third of cricketers. Some right-handers even adopt the so-called reverse stance, batting with their left hand below the right.
Successful left-handed batsmen include West Indies legend Brian Lara and England star Ben Stokes, pictured
Scientists who studied elite under-19 players in Australia found those who were left-handed or employed the reverse stance averaged 23 runs per innings compared to 19 for right-handed batsmen.
The average innings for left-handers lasted 50 minutes – ten minutes longer than right-handers – and they hit more fours, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
But there was no difference for sixes and, despite a reputation for an attacking, flamboyant style, they scored runs at the same pace.
Jonathan Connor, a co-author of the study, said left-handed players had a natural advantage because most bowlers are right-handed.
‘Bowlers are less familiar playing against left-handers and may bowl poorer deliveries. But you still have to be pretty skilful to capitalise on the bad balls.’
Successful left-handed batsmen include West Indies legend Brian Lara, who holds the record for the highest ever Test match score, and England star Ben Stokes, who bats left-handed but bowls right-handed.
By contrast, Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who has the Test runs record, writes with his left hand, but bats right-handed.