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Lefties have dominated World Cup in the past; Can they any more against today's broad bats?

Trent Boult

Bengaluru, May 30: Left-arm seamers have always made a big impact in the World Cups. Be it Gary Gilmour in the 1975 edition, Wasim Akram in 1992, Geoff Allott in 1999, Chaminda Vaas in 2003, Zaheer Khan in 2011 and Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult in 2015, the mega event has routinely produced names that have dominated.

WC Special | Schedule | Squads

The likes of Allott, Vaas, Zaheer, Starc and Boult even had gone on to capture 20 or more wickets in the World Cup with Vaas's 23 in the 2003 edition remaining the highest (the all-time highest is though Glenn McGrath's tally of 26 scalps in the 2007 edition).

Starc, Boult, Amir, Riaz in 2019

Will the 2019 World Cup also see the dominance of the left-arm seamers again? Boult and Starc are also there this time around and with both having found some good touch in the warm-up games, the fans would be ecstatic. Boult caught eyes with his burst that floored India in the warm-up game at the Oval on May 25.

Other main left-arm seamers in this World Cup are Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz of Pakistan and Sheldon Cottrell of the West Indies. Of them, the experienced Pakistani duo is not in form and made the squad in the eleventh hour, replacing some other young players.

The 2019 World Cup could be a benchmark of short where the 50-over matches might only look like an extension of the 20-over games. Going by the England-Pakistan series recently in which scores of 340-350 or beyond looked easy to build and chase down as well, this World Cup might be too tough an event for the bowlers - be it left or right armers. The dry conditions in England along with flat wickets and small grounds could make it go even away from the bowlers.

In 1992, England were rattled in the final of the tournament by a young Akram's left-arm magic and they lost the plot, but today, the same England's contribution to turn the game heavily in favour of the batsman is undeniable. At a time when even the players are predicting 500-run totals in the World Cup, bowlers - left or right arms - are bound to feel themselves of little significance.

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Story first published: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 13:05 [IST]
Other articles published on May 30, 2019
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