October 27 + Left Hander = Champion Cricketer


October 27th marks the birthdate of 4 cricketers i.e Kumara Sangakkara, Mark Taylor, David Warner and Irfan Pathan. All the mentioned 4 cricketers have emerged as successful cricketers in their tenure and brought glory for their nation. Surprisingly all the 4 Cricketers are left-handed batsmen and amongst them, Irfan Pathan is a left-handed bowler too.

Mark Taylor captained Australia in the 90’s post-Allan Border and took Australian cricket to new heights. Currently, he is doing commentary for Australian cricket.

David Warner is another left-handed Australian batsman, who made name for himself with his attacking stroke-play in international cricket. The New South Wales cricketer is currently under a ban from International Cricket due to ball tampering controversy that happened earlier this year.

Kumara Sangakkara, although retired from international cricket, is still active in various leagues showcasing his talent. He is also a regular feature in commentary on TV.

Irfan Pathan has been out of the Indian Team for a while now, his struggles with injuries have dented his career badly. Currently, the left-hander is not part of any competitive cricket. He was appointed as coach of Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association earlier this year in March.

Let us have a glimpse at the careers of these 4 players:

#1 Mark Taylor

The New South Wales-born Australian is regarded as the most gifted batsman and one of the finest Test captains of Australia. He made his debut in the year of 1989 against West Indies in Sydney. However, he announced his arrival in the first Test against England in the same year, when he scored a magnificent 136 in Headingley that helped Australia win.

He scored more than 800 runs in the 6-match test series against England with an impeccable average of 83.90, which was a record aggregate and only second best to Don Bradman.

Mark Taylor suffered a dip in form in the early 90’s but managed to score over 400 runs in the 5 match Test series against India in the year of 1991/92, which Australia went on to win 4-0.

Mark Taylor was appointed as Australian Captain in the year of 1994 and his first assignment was against Pakistan in Pakistan. This wasn’t a fruitful experience as Australia lost the 3 match Test series 1-0 and Taylor could only score 106 runs in the 3 test matches.

His captaincy was praised during the tour of West Indies in the year of 1994, where Australia won the 4 match Test series 2-1. His leadership was applauded by the critics and was considered a key factor in the Team’s success.

Mark Taylor’s real test was against India in India during the 1998 season. Despite having a good start to the 1st test in Chennai with a good lead after 1st innings, Sachin Tendulkar’s heroics took away the game and Australia lost the test on the 4th innings. The same pattern repeated in the second test at Calcutta as Australia suffered a heavy defeat. However, they regained some pride by winning the final test in Bangalore.

Mark Taylor broke the record for the then longest innings when he scored a massive 334* against Pakistan in Peshawar. Despite the test match ending in a draw, Australia went on to win the test series against Pakistan.

Taylor’s final season was against England, where Australia regained the Ashes by winning the series 3-1. In his captaincy stint, Australia won 26 and lost 13 games in 50 test matches, a success rate considered as the best amongst his compatriots.

Taylor had many achievements on the field and off the field, he was named Australian of the Year in 1999, he was awarded Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and was inducted in Sports Australia Hall of Fame in 2002 and many more.

Currently the 53-year-old is part of the commentary team for Cricket Australia broadcasters and signed the deal to voice his opinion for 2019 World cup

#2 David Warner

David Warner is known for his attacking stroke-play in both five-day and limited over formats. 1986 born, New South Wales cricketer made his way into the Australian team in the year of 2009 in a T20I game against South Africa.

David Warner was the first player since 1877 to represent Australia without playing a first-class game, however, he showed no nerves as he scored a blistering 89 off 43 deliveries against South Africa that helped Australia win the game.

David Warner made his test debut against in the year of 2011 against New Zealand at home. His ton in the 2nd test at Hobart caught the eye of many as he carried the bat throughout the innings.

In the series against India at home in the year of 2012, Warner smashed his way to a blistering century of just 69 balls. Australia whitewashed India 4-0 in the Test series.

The left-hander played a key role in Australia’s triumph in the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup. His notable performance was against Australia, where he scored a breath-taking 178 of 133 deliveries to help his side win by a massive margin. He ended up with 345 runs in the World Cup.

David Warner and Shane Watson are regarded as the most destructive pair in T20I history. The pair together added more than 1100 runs and have the record for most number of runs as a pair in the history of T20 cricket.

David Warner holds the record for scoring centuries in both the innings thrice. He is third in the list after Sunil Gavaskar and Ricky Ponting. Warner achieved this feat in the year of 2015 against New Zealand.

David Warner was bought by Delhi Daredevils in the year of 2009. He played for Delhi Daredevils until 2014, when he was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad. He leads Sunrisers Hyderabad to its maiden IPL title in the 2016 season and was applauded by the critics for his captaincy and batting skills as they were the key factors for the success of the team.

David Warned captained Australia in the absence of Steve Smith in the 2016 ODI and T20I series vs Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Under his leadership, Australia went on to win both the ODI and T20 series.

Currently, David Warner is serving a ban from International Cricket after the ball tampering incident that happened earlier this year against South Africa in South Africa.

#3 Kumara Sangakkara

Kumara Sangakkara is known as one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen to play the game of Cricket and also considered as the greatest of all time. The left-handed batsman made his debut into international cricket at the age of 22 in the year of 2000.

He announced his arrival in the Triangular ODI series, where he scored a match-winning 85 runs against South Africa, which was his second ODI game. He was awarded Man of the Match for his contribution with the bat.

His first break in Test cricket was against India at home, where he scored his first test hundred in the 1st test against India that helped his team to win the game. Sri Lanka went on to win the 3 match Test series against India 2-1.

Kumara Sangakkara scored a double hundred against Pakistan in the following year in 2002. His knock of 230 helped Sri Lanka win the Test match but also helped them win the Asian Test Championship.

Kumara Sangakkara scored a mammoth 270 against Zimbabwe in the year of 2004, he along with Marvan Attapattu stitched together a partnership of 438 for the second wicket, which is a 4th highest partnership in the world.

Kumara Sangakkara was appointed as vice-captain of the Sri Lankan team in the year of 2006. He along with Mahela Jayawardene stitched together a monumental 624 run partnership in a test match against South Africa at home. In this test match, he scored 287 runs, which is his career highest till date.

He was appointed as Captain in the year of 2009 after Mahela Jayawardene stepped down from the position. Under Kumar’s captaincy, Sri Lanka managed to reach the finals of both 2009 T20I World cup and 2011 50 over World cup. After the 50 over World cup in 2011, Kumara Sangakkara stepped down from captaincy and the mantle was handed over to Dilshan.

The left-hander continued his good form post captaincy and has been instrumental in Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup triumph in 2014 in Bangladesh as well as the T20I World Cup win in the same year. Kumara Sangakkara retired from T20I’s post the World Cup triumph.

He continued his run in ODI’s and Test Cricket he notched up 10,000 runs in both Test and ODI cricket. Following are the records and achievements of Kumara Sangakkara:

  1. Second highest run-scorer in ODI’s and 6th highest in Test Cricket
  2. Fastest to 8000, 9000, 11000 and 12000 runs in Test cricket
  3. ICC cricketer of the year in 2012, ODI Cricketer of the year in 2011 and 2013
  4. Most Wicket-keeper dismissals surpassing Adam Gilchrist

Kumara Sangakkara retired from ODI cricket in the 2015 ICC Cricket World cup after his team crashed out in the quarter-finals against South Africa. However, Kumar had a fruitful tournament as he scored 4 consecutive 100’s and became the 1st batsman to do so in the history of World Cup.

He retired from Test cricket in the same year against India at home. In his final appearance, he made 32 and 18 and was well greeted by the Indian Team and the crowd at P Sara Oval.

Kumar was also part of Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils in IPL and participated in various leagues across the leagues and made significant contributions to his team. Currently, he is part of commentary teams on TV.

#4 Irfan Pathan

Irfan Khan Pathan born in Baroda in the year of 1984, played cricket for India in all the three formats. Irfan made his debut in the 2003 Border-Gavaskar Test series against Australia, where he had an impressive outing in the 4th Test at Sydney, He picked up the wickets of Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist with his swing bowling that caught the eye of many.

He made his ODI debut in the VB One Day Triangular series that followed after. He made good contributions with the ball but couldn’t get the series win for his team.

Irfan Pathan had a good tour to Pakistan, where he was instrumental in India’s series wins against Pakistan in both the One-Day and Test Series. Under the leadership of Saurav Ganguly, Irfan was a regular member of Indian squad in both the formats.

In 2005, Greg Chappell was appointed as Coach of Indian Cricket Team, who saw huge potential in Irfan and promoted him to bat as an opener in the absence of Virender Sehwag. Although Irfan showed his potential with the bat every now and then, his bowling took a dent and his pace decreased.

He started to leak runs at a higher economy rate and was dropped from the ODI squad frequently. He struggled in 2006, although managed to pick up a hattrick against Pakistan in the third test at Karachi.

Pathan had a poor tour of West Indies in the year of 2006 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid. India lost the 5 match ODI series 4-1. He played the second test and was dropped thereafter for the remainder of the series.

However, things took a turn in the Inaugural T20 World Cup that was held in South Africa in the year of 2007. Pathan took crucial wickets at important junctures that helped India march their way to win the trophy.

Pathan served national duties for the next 12 months in all the formats. Although he didn’t set the stage on fire in the tour of Australia, he contributed with decent performance in the 3rd Test at Perth, which helped India win the test match amidst many controversies. Pathan did well in the triangular ODI series that followed and India went on to win the ODI series for the first time in Australia.

The left-hander suffered many injuries from 2008-2011 and hence was left out in many series. Irfan Pathan was recalled in the year of 2011 for home series against West Indies. He played only 1 game and picked up 1 wicket. He was selected for the ODI tri-series in Australia, where Irfan Pathan picked up 6 wickets at an average of 31.16.

Irfan had many ups and downs in his career and last played for India in the year of 2012 against Sri Lanka, where he had a good tournament which helped India win the ODI and T20I series. Pathan was part of many IPL teams such as Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gujarat Lions and Chennai Super Kings. He last played for Gujarat Lions in the 2017 edition of Indian Premier League but failed to make an impact.

Other than Cricket, Irfan Pathan has appeared in television for few shows and news debates. Currently, he is part of commentary panels on TV.