Video: Mitchell Johnson playing tennis right-handed

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Well, looks like we’ve got to the bottom of that whole ‘bowl to the left, bowl to the right’ thing. Turns out Mitchell Johnson is right-handed.

Here’s some expert coaching advice, Mitch: bowl with your other hand.

Better late than never with these kinds of tips.

You may already have been aware of Johnson’s ambidextrousness/confusion. We weren’t. Responding to yesterday’s post – in which we reminded people that when only one arm is tattooed, it should the ‘doing arm’ – Top shelf tweeted us to point out that Johnson signs autographs right-handed.

There we were mistakenly thinking that Johnson had the wrong arm tattooed. Turns out the correct one had been tattoed all along and he’d simply been using the other one to bowl by mistake.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Maybe he’s such a good bowler with his right arm that he uses his left in a sort of Ronnie O’Sullivan display of his contempt for opponents.

    Or maybe he’s just been under the impression that he’s setting up for some sort of cricketing game of killer(s).

    Or maybe it’s something to do with the (much-misunderstood) Coriolis effect?

  2. My younger son, Ernie, is left-handed. We tried to have him sent back, but apparently that can’t be done. He does some things left-handed and some things right-handed.

    Left Handed
    One-handed catching (for preference)
    Picking his nose

    Right Handed
    Scratching his left elbow

    So in that respect he is very similar to Mitchell Johnson. On the other hand, he can pitch the ball on the strip.

    1. Given that the word ‘sinister’ derives from being left handed, elbow scratching is a benign activity compared to nose picking, unless he’s doing both at the same time. Bowling and throwing are more sinister activities than batting and badminton. Writing is definitely sinister. Not sure about the catching or the golf, but all in all it sounds like you have a well balanced son.

    2. We’ve spent a good 12 hours thinking about this and we reckon left- and right-handed is pretty much meaningless when it comes to two-handed actions. So many right-handed individuals are left-handed batsmen and vice versa. We move that batting stances be rebranded.

      In snowboarding they have ‘goofy’ and ‘regular’. This is better, but still seems a bit judgemental. We’d call the two batting stances ‘goofy’ and ‘irregular’ so that it doesn’t seem like there’s any correct option.

      1. There is a really good essay on this topic in one of my old cricket books. It suggests that almost all cricketers are, almost by definition, ambi. It also has some “stats” (as if stats had really been invented back then) on former cricketers playing golf left or right handed.

        I can’t remember which book it is in.

        What I’d really like to do right now is go into the living room and start browsing for that essay, telling myself that I can find it quickly and report back on its details.

        But I know in my heart of hearts that at least half the day would disappear that way, in the joyful oblivion of my cricket books. Then I would have to endure several unpleasant stressy, tetchy hours trying to finish off my work in time to get ready to go out for dinner this evening with Daisy and our delightful hosts/friends.

        I realise I am letting you all down, but I’m absolutely certain that you’ll understand and be gentle on me.

        It’s a fabulous essay, the essay on two-handedness that I’m not going to dig out just now; fabulous.

      2. While I agree that some more neutral terminology is required, I don’t think cricket needs to borrow terms from other sports. Cricket has a long and distinguished history of inventing weird terms – googly, chinaman, silly point and many more. So simply continue with this theme:

        “And the new batsman is a nobprat, which gives the bowler some problems with a nobprat / squange pair at the wicket. Three slips, a forward short leg, third man, deep backward square, deepish mid-on and two on the cover boundary, left-arm over as Johnson comes in now and oh my goodness that’s a mile wide, he’d have needed to be double-squange to get that one.”

      3. “so many right-handed individuals are left-handed batsmen” – indeed KC, just like your dad.

      1. Behave, Edwardian.

        We’re talking tennis here, so in any case the word you were looking for is racket, not racquet.

  3. Sania Mirza – World #57 hardly does justice. Shouldn’t it have read World Doubles #1 since that is what they were playing?

      1. Especially considering she hasn’t played a singles game in about 5 years, and is the defending doubles champ this year at the Australian Open.

  4. Mitchell Johnson
    Admittedly hit the strip on some
    Occasions to good effect. Still and all, he was likely
    To bowl, more often than not, shitely.

  5. I am also delighted to report that the Chinese beauties have returned to my KC advertising spaces, clearly bedazzled by my research skills and/or my ambidexterity.

    1. If you plan on pursuing these Chinese beauties, I keep getting ads for great deals on some pills you might be interested it.

  6. If I’m remembering correctly, I saw Darren Gough signing autographs left-handed. I knew a lad at school who wrote with his left, but threw and kicked on the right. I’m right-handed, but my guitar is a lefty and I used to occasionally bowl Chinamen. They were Harmison-esque in their accuracy, but they didn’t half turn thanks to my left wrist turning much further than my right for some reason. Mother’s side of the family are predominantly left-handed, which probably helps.

  7. Marking the place in my Second Boundary Book was an e-mail printout from 31 August 2000, which enabled me to recover the following memories from the England v West Indies Fifth Test at the Oval that year.

    The prize for KC readers who prefer player name limericks and clerihews to memory pieces is that the print out was basically a limerick, contained herein:

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