What is common to the following adjectives?
Graceful, Elegant, Stylish?
Rather, which class of cricketers do words such as the above remind you of? I would be very surprised if you would answer anything other than left hand batsmen.
I have always wondered what it is that makes the left hand batsman more stylish than his right handed counterpart. Apart from the odd guy like Dravid, or maybe Laxman, I haven?t seen too many right handed batsmen being described thus. At least the general class of right handed batsmen is not described in such terms, while it is oft used to describe the lefties. Quite intriguing. Aren?t southpaws just a mirror image of right handers? Aren?t they just doing the same thing, but with their dominant hand dominant?
Actually, not quite, I think. Maybe it would be useful to look at the lefties who are most often described as ?elegant?, etc. Some names that immediately come to mind are Lara, Ganguly, Gower, Stephen Fleming and Graeme Pollock (ok the list is not exhaustive. Feel free to add to this.) And the common thread that runs across them is that they are all natural right handers who bat left handed! At least, all of them bowl/throw right handed leading us to believe that is their dominant hand.
Have you ever heard anyone describe Yuvraj or Jayasuriya elegant? I?m not even sure if too many people have described Border (another natural left hander) as elegant.
You must have guessed by now, the point I?m trying to make is that the elegance comes in batting with the weaker hand. A natural right hander batting left handed means that the dominant hand is the top hand. Which is where you get all the delicate touches, and angles, and elegance from.
Of course there are exceptions. Border (a natural left hander) is also described as ?elegant?, as are Laxman and Dravid (natural right handers who bat right handed). And then you have people like Hayden and Gayle, who though bat with a dominant top hand, are very brute force.
And does the opposite apply? What about natural left handers batting right handed? Ravi Shastri is supposed to have been elegant, though by the time I started watching, he was synonymous with excruciatingly slow batting. Michael Clarke does look quite elegant. And of course there?s Sachin (though i?m not sure if he?s a left hander who plays cricket right handed or a right hander who writes lefthanded).