Social media poll August 13, 2015

Lara tops #BestLefty poll

ESPNcricinfo staff
The results of our social media poll on the best left-hand batsman in Tests saw Brian Lara voted as #BestLefty. Here are some of the best comments we received

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Most who would vote and\or comment would never have really seen sobers at his peak outside some highlights so he's at a distinct disadvantage in such a poll. That aside, Brian Charles Lara for me was such an agressive yet classy and technically sound that you really can't go past him for best lefty.
- Amish Bhagat

The question was who's the best lefty. All five have top notch numbers; for average, runs and hundreds. But do we base it on these facts alone? Border,Smith and Kumar are great players in their era and teams. But you have two of the greatest batsmen who played the game. One who is considered the greatest all rounder ever in Sobers. Then you have Lara who not once but twice scored the highest test match total not including the 501 in county. The two West Indians changed the game Lara fested on spin bowling. When you listen to greats talk about who they would pay to see bat. Lara's name always comes up. For me it's Lara,Sobers,Kumar,Border then Smith
- Ryad Andy Ali

Sangakkara has the highest average and was the most gentlemanly, Sobers had bowling pace and spin as two more strings to his bow, Lara was the most gifted and talented, and Smith was the best man in a 4th innings run chase and the longest - serving captain, but for me no one else can match Allan Border for his determination, skill and durability: there will never be anyone who plays 153 consecutive Tests again! My all-time most admired sports person.
- Jeremy P R Buddle

I have not see Sobers play. I did not find style of Smith and Border appealing although they scored enough runs. For me 1st is Lara and 2nd is Sangakara. But there should be other names like Stephen Flemming, Saurav Ganguly, David Gower and Saeed Anwar. - Partha Banerjee

Among the choices given, I would have to say Sangakkara. I have nothing but the utmost respect for his technique, temperament, and approach to the game. He's a very intelligent yet underrated batsman, and I'm glad to see that he's getting his due praise on his farewell tour. I never saw Allan Border bat, unfortunately, and with Lara, although I think he's a great batsman, I am not sure if his technique (with respect to both effectiveness as well as elegance) is comparable to Sangakkara. Brian Lara had a bit more flair to his batting (note the high backlift) and played many great knocks as evinced by his average, but is he the consummate model as far as technique is concerned (especially compared to Sangakkara)? I'm not too sure.
- Bari Bardhan

Feel sorry for any cricket fan who never saw Sobers in full-flight. What he would have done to some of the bowling they face today, doesn't bear thinking about.
- Joe Jacques

Graeme Smith isn't even the best SOUTH AFRICAN left-hander. That honour goes to Graeme Pollock. For me, it's between Sobers and Lara as the best left-handed batsman, with Sobers narrowly edging out Lara. Pollock third.
- Grant Sansom-Sherwill

A list of lefthanders minus Graeme Pollock, Len Hutton and George Headley is a very incomplete one. Sangakkara's numbers are simply astonishing, especially the 68 plus average as a specialist batsman, and second only to Bradman. Sangakkara is top of the cricinfo list by a long way, and even when we add the 3 names above, the Sri Lankan superstar wins again with or without a 12th double-hundred in one of his last two Tests vs India.
- nickexplore

You would have to be 60 years old to comment on this. I haven't seen much of Gary Sobers except a few black and white clips. He appeared to have exceptional reflexes, playing the ball the latest I have seen. He just had so much time. Of those I have seen live, it's got to be Lara. A true genius. Thrashed the world's most lethal pace duo the W's during their peak. Won matches single-handedly and was a prolific run getter the world over. And I agree: Smith is not in this league of extraordinary lefties. Saeed Anwar, Hayden, Gilchrist, Jayasuriya were all geniuses in their own right.
- Abbas Ali Shirazi

I haven't seen Sobers bat. So it is difficult to compare him with Lara and Sanga. Other two, Border and Smith are not in the same class as test batsman imo. Lara was the more fluent out of two but with 38 hundreds (most by any left hander), 11 doubles (most by any left hander) and highest career average (58) among the batsman to score at least 8000 runs, it has to be Sangakkara. His concentration was amazing. - Galmos

I'm an SL fan but a huge Lara fan. So got to say Brian Lara is the best lefty that I have seen and probably of all time. Still remember how he destroyed Murali single handedly on turning pitches in SL while the rest were efficiently dismantled by SL bowlers. SL thrashed WI 3-0 but Lara scored over 600 runs in the series against Murali who was on the top of his game. I would put Sanga next and then Smith though I wish Hayden was on this list too. I haven't seen Sobers or Greame Pollock and very little of Border so it's difficult to place them. Stats wise Sir Gary is probably the greatest cricketer of all time.
- ksquared

Garfield Sobers for me. He is the only one of this lot who played when TV and other electronic media were not in popular use and therefore was not seen as much as the others. Speaking of his batting alone, he was a star and as elegant as Brian Lara. He faced formidable bowling attacks of both Australia and England as well. He also faced the best spin combination (quartet) in the world, from India. Brian Lara comes a close second.
- Shyam Sunther Rao

Smith is the only opening batsmen amongst them all. Smith is the only guy to captain for a very lengthy period amongst them all. Smith is that guy who pulled SA cricket off the floor to become most successful test captain ever. Smith is that guy who scored those ugly, gritty hundreds that took his team to series victories across the world. The only man to lead a team to a test victory at Edgbaston over England in the last 10 yrs scoring 150 n.o. in the second innings. The first man in over 2 decades to beat Australia at home. The man who most despise because of the enormity of his achievements, and mock at his technique, but fail to realise his achievements are much broader than just being a pretty batsmen. The man who led his once average SA team to the best in the world, where they are still ranked, having not lost away from home for some 8 years. This is Graeme Smith - my choice.
- AB_DeVilliers

Has to be Lara. He created legitimate fear in opposition no matter who he was playing. I remember SA playing WI and thinking that the second new ball would cause problems for Lara and the first over he faced of it he just lashed Nel all over the place and SA players had grins on their faces as if to say "how on Earth do you cope with this?". He was breathtaking to watch.
- MrGarreth

Graeme Pollock anyone? Not only left-handed, but also second on the overall averages list. Perhaps missing his golden years too. But this is maybe why he is omitted. The unknown factor. Otherwise, certainly a tough choice - a choice that could be based on any type of factor you choose according to your preference. For me though, it's Sobers. He played for two decades, in periods when batting wasn't easy (few averaged 50), and is also missing some of his best innings in the World XI matches.
- Cam_PT

I guess on pure cricketing skills, Sobers will be at the top. But since we are talking about batting only, I will have to pick up Lara winning by a whisker. These two are a class apart from the others. Sanga comes at the third slot , just a level below the Caribbean Maestros. Border and Smith , while being excellent batters are nowhere in the same class.
- SayakBhattacharyya

Brian Charles Lara - As a cricket lover you don't wish to move an inch away from the television set, if you sense Brian is going to do something. If you sense an intent from Brian that he is going to score a hundred or more, then it's a treat to watch. Entertainer pure entertainer. Most of his test innings he would come in when WI was in dire straits 13-2, 33-3 and he shouldered the burden of scoring most of the runs with support from lower middle order. Throughout his career, he masked the deficiencies of his team's batting only to be blamed as a selfish player. He may have never won a world cup but nevertheless, when motivated or sledged, he will dominate opposition bowling with his aggression and breath taking stroke play taking calculated risk. Oh yes! best player against spin bowling too.
- Lara Dharun

Nobody among the group has a better fourth innings record than Smith, in all the 100s Smith scored not even once did SA lose a match. Sure those guys had better, flashier, good looking cover drives than Smith, but when times were tough only Border comes close to Biff. The fact is when Smith stood up everybody followed, he had the ability to inspire the team than all of those guys. When it comes to gritty tough runs, I wouldn't trade anyone for Smith

Greame Pollock is missing from the list surely. Lara is the best I've seen. Sanga has a better record, but he never had to face some of the great bowling attacks that Lara had to (and his record is not quite as impressive against the great bowling attacks). Not to take anything away from Sanga who is a legend. But Lara on song is a treat to watch.
- Nirmalya

As a batsman who marries art, craft, grit, longevity, and dominance (against pace and spin alike) cricket has never had a southpaw better than Brian Lara. Graeme Pollock and Neil Harvey at their best would be mighty close, that's about it. Others may have been better students of the game, remarkably durable or loftier averages but Lara at his peak was the superlative against which all other left-handed batsmen are compared to.
- Deepanjan Datta