With various T20 Leagues being played across the world, we aren’t just seeing cricket getting evolved in a better way but they also unearth some of the rare but unnoticed talents hiding in the corners of the world. Here, we are talking about a certain South African spinner who not just bowls with different hands which in itself is a difficult art to possess but he also took 2 wickets on 2 consecutive balls which bowled with different hands.
We have often seen batsmen playing switch hits where they change the grip of their hands to bat exactly opposite of how they normally bat. Reverse sweep is also a bit similar although there is no change in grip while playing that shot but we don’t regularly see ambidextrous bowlers who can bowl with both hands with equal ease and effects. Put some stress on your mind and try to remember how many of those bowlers you have seen? The answer must be none or very few till now. South Africa’s Gregory Mahlokwana is one of them. Playing for Cape Town Blitz in Mzansi Super League, Mahlokwana first dismissed left handed opener Sarel Erwee at cover bowling by his right hand. It was the final ball of 8th over of the inning.
Then on the first ball of his next over and inning’s 10th over, he knocked the poles of captain Dane Vilas bowling with his left hand. On both the occasions, his motive was to take the ball away from the batsman as right arm off spin to a left hander and left arm off spin to a right hander turns away from the bat. The first ball to dismiss Erwee was a well flighted one as Erwee waited for the ball to arrive and then hit it straight to cover. Next ball to Dane Vilas was a quicker one. Vilas came down the wicket but got beaten by the change of pace. Watch the video below :
How often do you hear of a bowler picking wickets with each hand during a cricket match❓ Very rarely❗️
This also goes on to show that Mahlokwana has great control with both his hands as he was able to change the pace of the ball in a rippleless way.
Cape Town Blitz led by Quinton De Kock won the match by 10 runs as Dale Steyn and Mahlokwana picked important wickets to defend 175 runs.
Talking about regular bowlers having the skill of bowling ambidextrously, the list isn’t very long. In India, Akshay Karnewar who plays for Vidarabha and was in Royal Challengers Bangalore side in IPL 2016 has that rare quality. He surprised one & all when he bowled with both his arms to the likes of Hardik Pandya and Irfan Pathan in 2015 season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Hashan Tilakratne of Sri Lanka bowled with both his hands in the same match although that was only for fun purpose as Sri Lanka had posted 398 (highest ODI score of that time) against Kenya in a 1996 league match. Knowing the easy victory on cards, Tilakratne bowled 5th ball of 50th over with his left hand, just to have some fun.
In a totally different but contextual story, Sunil Gavaskar once batted left handed only to negate the excessive away spin Raghuram Bhatt, Karnataka left arm off spinner was getting against right handers on that pitch. Bhatt had run through Mumbai batting in the first inning by taking 8 wickets and only then, in the second inning, Gavaskar decided to bat with left hand to counter the spin much to the surprise of everyone. Remembering the incident, Raghuram Bhatt says,
I just couldn’t believe my eyes. But he batted superbly. I had 6 fielders around the bat but Sunil would play with soft hands and drop the ball dead at his feet or pad up. That was master class on how to play on a turning wicket. Mind you, he batted for a long time.