If you follow baseball at all, on any level, you are aware of managers’ fixation for changing pitchers are certain points in the game, due to the slightly better percentage of a left-hand pitcher facing a left-hand batter, or vice versa.
Over the long haul, the strategy has proven, mathematically at least, effective, but there are many notable instances of the strategy backfiring at the worst possible time.
Even on the batting side of the equation, managers will often pull a right-handed hitter for a left-hander once the other side has committed to a right-handed relief pitcher, even if the batting average of the right-handed pitcher against right-handed pitchers is superior to that of the left-handed pinch-hitter.
Baseball managers, knowing from which side the opposing pitcher throws, will often skew their lineups prior to the game, trying to get more left-handed batters into the game in pursuit of the slight edge the strategy affords.
Switch the code to cricket and consider the luxury Sri Lanka enjoys with 20-year-old bowler Kamindu Mendis.
Not only is Mendis ambidextrous, he can also bowl with either arm.
We are chuffed because we can use both feet to walk, even if we do have to do the majority of our typing with one hand. That right foot of ours, however, mysteriously transforms into a second left when the music and the dancing starts.
Mendis has made the squad for Sri Lanka for a one-off Twenty20 match against the Poms.
He owns the bragging rights of bowling left-arm spin to right-handed Joe Root and right-arm off spinners to left-handed batting Eoin Morgan.
Mendis, listed as a left-hand bat, is also reportedly proficient at that aspect of the game and hit 61 from 72 balls, catching the attention of England all-rounder Moeen Ali.
Of Mendis’ bowling, Ali said, “I’ve never seen someone do that live, but it’s great and fantastic for the game. “It’s amazing he was so accurate with both arms and it will be the way cricket is going to go.”
Yes, but he bowl pace with both arms?