Yorker – What Is It & Why Is It Growing Popularity In T20 Cricket?

The shortest format like the T20 cricket witnesses more wide yorker balls to produce huge variations.

A Yorker ball is a dangerous delivery for any batter to attempt, especially, in a T20 format that is heavily overloaded by favouring the batsman. Typically, yorker delivery to the power hitters during the death overs can control the flow of runs and take wickets. It is a key weapon to interrupt a batsman’s flow and force them to execute mistimed shots, thereby gaining huge importance and popularity in white ball cricket.

If a yorker ball isn’t bowled properly, most death hitters (also known as the finishing batsmen) can make use of the opportunity to accumulate huge runs. At the same time, bowlers are showered with compliments for consistently delivering a series of yorkers ball.

In this article, you will find out what exactly a yorker ball is, its importance in T20 cricket and the different types involved to result in the best bowling action. Mainly, you will understand the concept of wide yorker bowling and how it is different from the traditional slow yorkers.

What is a yorker bowling in cricket?

A Yorker ball is a commonly unleashed delivery that is pitched exactly at the batsman’s feet or toes. The motion of the ball is very low with less bounce which makes it difficult for any batter to hit. As a result, either it is a dot ball or results in dismissals such as LBW or directly hitting the stumps. At times, batters get injured when they fail to move their feet out of the line of the ball within the time.

However, to execute a perfect Yorker ball, it is mandatory to meet the demands through rigorous practice due to the technical complexities involved. Mainly, bowlers must exhibit immense dedication to refine their speed and accuracy to consistently master the skills of yorker balling.

Currently, these five bowlers are considered as the king of yorkers of all-time namely:

  1. Lasith Malinga (SRI LANKA)
  2. Mitchell Starc (AUSTRALIA)
  3. Jasprit Bumrah (INDIA)
  4. Shoaib Akhtar (PAKISTAN)
  5. Trent Boult (NEW ZEALAND)

At the same time, these five batsmen have consistently excelled in playing the yorkers at the best level throughout their careers namely:

  1. Glenn Maxwell (AUSTRALIA)
  2. MS Dhoni (INDIA)
  3. Jos Buttler (ENGLAND)
  4. Andre Russell (WEST INDIES)
  5. Chris Gayle (WEST INDIES)

With the advancement in technology, the edges of the bats have become thicker and smoother which allows batsmen to move away from the stumps and execute massive shots. If the timing is perfect, the ball will certainly travel over the boundary ropes.

Importance of Bowling Yorker Balls

These are the main factors that highlight the significance of bowling yorker balls in T20 cricket:

  • Difficult for batters to defend when bowled at full length.
  • Limits the batter’s scoring ability, especially in the death overs
  • A surprise weapon to slow down a batter’s momentum. 
  • Targeting the stumps can increase the chances of bowled or leg before wicket (LBW) dismissal

Types of Yorker Ball

Here are the four main types of yorkers implemented in the majority of limited-overs cricket matches such as the ODIs and T20Is, with each possessing unique techniques:

1. Slow Yorker:

A yorker ball’s speed is lowered which forces batsman to fall into the trap of playing unorthodox shots and result in giving up their wicket. You might have observed Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah delivering such type of yorkers ball.

2. Toe Crusher:

Former Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga is often hailed as the toe crusher as he delivers destructive yorker balls at the tip of the foot. Consequently, it makes a batter collapse on the ground after being unable to defend due to the high speed of the ball at 130-140 kmph.

3. Fast Yorker:

Fast bowlers deliver yorker balls at a speed of 140+ kmph that directly hit the stumps. For instance, former South African pacer Dale Steyn bowls such type of yorker balls at high speed.

4. Swinging Yorker:

The swinging yorkers are one of the most challenging skills for any bowler to become experienced. It’s upto the bowler’s talent to manipulate the inswing or outswing of a ball along with a yorker. As a result, the ball swings aggressively before reaching the stumps or shoes. For example, Australian pacer Mitchell Starc uses such yorker balls as a weapon that makes it difficult for batters to execute shots with perfection.

Wide Yorker Balls vs Traditional Yorker Balls

Unlike the traditional yorker balls that are directly aimed at the base of the stumps, a wide yorker ball is bowled at a wider range outside the off-stump or leg-stump. As a result, it forces the batsman to stretch their arms to reach the ball which has the chance of mistiming the shot or missing it to strike on the bat.

Although, both the standard and wide yorkers have minimal bounce, the outcome is different. Mainly, the batter can get caught by the wicketkeeper while facing wide yorker deliveries if the ball passes through the thick edge of the bat.

On the other side, the improper planning to execute wide yorkers could produce wrong for the fielding side as it might result in numerous wides or byes. Also, there are chances that the ball could be delivered as a full-toss delivery which motivates a batsman to get settled in a good position to smash over the ropes.

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As modern-day cricket favours batters more to score runs, it is the responsibility of the bowlers to try to find innovative ways to counterattack the aggressive batters.

Perhaps, the shortest format like the T20 cricket witnesses more wide yorker balls to produce huge variations.

Overall, the wide yorkers as well as the other yorkers variants serve as an effective weapon for bowlers to restrict the batters who are seeking huge runs instantly during a critical situation of a match.

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