Akshay Karnewar of Board President’s XI recently grabbed headlines when he bowled with both arms in a warm-up clash against Australia who are in India for a five-match ODI series. He is one of the few bowlers who is an ambidexterous bowler. Similarly, there are few cricketers who are ambidextrous and use different hands to bat and bowl in the middle. Cricwizz takes a look at the top 10 popular ambidextrous cricketers in the world.
Ben Stokes: The England cricketer is one of the best all-rounders across all formats of the game. He is good in both the skills. However, he bats left-handed and bowls right-handed. He is a destructive hitter of the ball, and can take wickets with his medium-pace bowler. He is a great asset to any team he is part of. He is also an excellent fielder, which makes him an exciting all-round package. He proved his utility and huge pay when he turned up match-winning performances with Rising Pune Supergiant with bat, ball and fielding in 2017 IPL.
Lance Klusener: He was a quality all-rounder for South Africa before fading away. He took 8 wickets in an innings in his debut Test against India. He was lethal with the bat. He batted lower down the order in limited-overs cricket and finished the game from improbable situations. His heroics in 1999 World Cup lighted up the tournament. However, he just fell at the last hurdle and one run away from taking South Africa into their maiden World Cup final.
Ravi Shastri: The Indian coach was of great utility to India during his playing days. His left-arm orthodox spin bowling was top-class, while he batted right-handed, opening the innings for India in Tests and ODIs. He is also a smart strategist and brings a lot to the table. Under his tenure as coach, India continue to achieve great heights. And not to forget, his world-class commentary before he took up the post of coach for India full-time.
Michael Clarke: The former Australian skipper was a world-class right-handed batsman. But he bowled left-arm orthodox spin. He had cracked a ton in his debut home and away Tests. He is most remembered for his three wickets in one over in the 2008 Sydney Test against India to bowl Australia to win in the dying stages of the game. Clarke was a batting all-rounder with a knack of picking wickets with his left-arm spin bowling.
Richard Hadlee: He was the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket before Kapil Dev overtook him. He is still regarded as one of the greatest medium-pacers in World Cricket. He took 431 wickets in 86 Tests. But he was also a decent bat, but left-handed. He cracked two tons and 15 fifties for New Zealand in Tests. Sir Richard Hadlee is one of the most popular ambidextrous cricketers.
Sourav Ganguly: He was not a natural left-hander. However, he batted left-handed so that he can use his left-handed brother’s batting gloves. Ganguly went on to became one of the world’s best batsmen and forged a brilliant opening pair with Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs. Ganguly was also a decent right-handed medium-pace bowler. He has two five-wicket hauls in ODIs.
Chris Gayle: The Universal Boss is a destructive hitter of the ball and recently completed 10,000 T20 runs for various teams. He can hit a six a long distance. He bats left-handed and there is certain style, swagger attached to his style of batting. But Gayle is a decent off-spinner as well. But Gayle bowls right-handed. He has even opened T20 innings with his right-arm off-break bowling.
Suresh Raina: The left-handed batsman was India’s first-choice player in ODIs and T20s before indifferent form and injuries saw him sidelined from limited-overs cricket. However, Raina was a force to reckon with in limited-overs cricket. He can pace his innings brilliantly, drops anchor when needed and accelerates if the situation demands. His going down on knees to hoist balls over the boundaries has class written all over it. But Raina was also a decent right-handed off-break bowler. MS Dhoni bowled Raina regularly for India and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
Thisara Perera: He is of the mould of England all-rounder Ben Stokes. He can bat aggressively and hit fours and sixes at will. He is a right-handed medium-pacer who has a hat-trick in both ODIs and T20Is. He has three five-wicket hauls in ODIs. Perera has been a regular fixture in IPL, playing for as many as six teams in this tournament. But Perera has been inconsistent with bat and ball that prevented him from gaining a permanent seat in any team he played for.
James Faulkner: He can bat right-handed and bowl left-handed. He has played many match-winning knocks for his team lower-down the order. He has the ability to raise his game when the chips are down and come good with the bat when the team requires him the most. With his left-arm bowling, he has the knack of picking up wickets. He was the man of the match in 2015 World Cup final against New Zealand for his 3/36.