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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    March 26, 2003


    Australian coach John Buchanan thinks that by the next World Cup, the Australian team will have players who can do things with both hands, i.e. bat, bowl or field both right-handed and left-handed. He says Ian Harvey already can throw left and right handed while Gilchrist is good at using both sides of the body while batting (wonder what that means!). John, there's a small problem there. Regardless of if you can be ambidextrous or not, you need to have the basic talent. There's no use in Harvey being able to throw left or right handed if his right handed batting or bowling sucks anyway, as it does now.

    Other coaches believe that this new method of playing cricket would be very useful, if say a leg-spinner was bowling into the rough and a batsman who could bat right-handed and left-handed switched to batting left-handed to counter the turn out of the rough. Why'd say someone like Laxman or Tendulkar or Sehwag have to bat left-handed against Warne to counter the spin? These players have tonked Warne and a lot of other spinners around because they use proper footwork. If you have the basic talent, you don't need gimmickry.

    Incidentally Sunil Gavaskar did this against Raghuram Bhat, the Karnataka left-arm spinner in a Ranji trophy game in the 1980s. Bhat was bowling over the wicket into the rough on Gavaskar's leg-stump, in much the same way as Giles attacked Tendulkar's posterior in late 2001. Gavaskar tried playing Bhat out for a while, then realised he wasn't getting too far. Then he batted left handed for a few overs while Bhat was bowling to counter the turn and Bhat subsequently was forced into bowling a different line. That's the key, you need to have some minimal ability.

    Actually, I think this is another of Buchanan's attempts at leading opposition astray. It is similar to his attempts at expounding Sun Tzu's philosophy or coming up with a dissertation of Kiwi players and slipping these under journalists' or opposition team doors. It is just a red-herring, so that the opposition keeps wondering about the Australian team's strategies and not focussing on theirs. I suppose the buck does stop there.

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