The best left-handed Test XI in the modern era
There is always a fondness towards left-handers. After all, they are a rare breed in international cricket as the game predominantly has produced more right-handed batsmen and bowlers. Based on a statistic in 2016, 3923 players till date have batted in Test cricket, out of which 3172 were right-handers, 745 were left-handers and 6 of them were unknown. This helps us to deduce that there have been only 19% of international cricketers who batted left-handed. We also have to consider that, some of them are ambidextrous who bat both left-handed and bowl right-handed.
Similarly, when it comes to bowling, out of the 3923 cricketers, 2735 were right arm bowlers and 568 were left armers. However, 620 of them never bowled in test cricket. This means 17.20% were left-arm bowlers.
Lets look to best left-handed Test XI in the modern era.
Openers - Alastair Cook and Matthew Hayden
Alastair Cook was an opener in the classical mould. Cook had dogged defence and a strong temperament. His batting was not a piece of art, but at the end of the day he would score a truckload of runs. England was at it's strongest, when Cook was at his best.
Cook was adept against pace and spin and preferred to grind down oppositions by batting time. By the time he retired, Cook was the fifth highest run-getter and scored the highest number of runs as an opener in Test matches. He had a calm demeanor and was well admired.
Matthew Hayden was a dominant force who would stand a meter outside his crease and bully the fast bowlers with his powerful down-the-ground shots. Hayden would play powerful slog sweeps and through the spinners off their lengths. Hayden would score runs at a rampant pace and make the opposition captain clueless with his methods.
With Hayden at the top, Australia enjoyed a successful period of domination in all the countries. He was a good slip-catcher as well and took some fine catches with his bucket hands.