From Kagiso Rabada to Jasprit Bumrah, pacers, as always, have dominated with their lethal yorkers at times in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Some of them have been game-changing, while some others could prove costly with the batsman taking advantage and smashing for the maximums. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s T Natarajan has been another revelation when it comes to mastering the skill of bowling yorkers. He has unleashed 27 of them in the tournament so far, which is more than Jasprit Bumrah (17), with five of them coming in SRH’s game against Delhi Capitals.
Explaining on Star Sports Select Dugout during the Rajasthan Royals-Mumbai Indians game on Sunday, former England pacer and expert Dominic Cork elaborated on how to face the changing lengths of yorkers.
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Cork, himself a specialist of swing and seam bowling, went onto discuss how the lengths changed when compared to his playing days in the 1990s. “When we’re talking about the lengths, you know, in the 90s, people were batting at here (shows the direction), so your yorker length was actually on this line and that’s where most bowlers, in their heydays, the Waqar Younis, Wasim Akrams, good bowlers at that stage, would bowl the yorker. Now, what is changed, is the length. That is the length now,” he said.
He further went onto say that batsmen these days position themselves deep in the crease, and that is where the bowlers could get hit for boundaries.
“And there are two things why now, the bowlers have had to change, Swanny and Brian. And you’ll know this more than anything, Brian, that batsmen now, are standing deep in the crease. I don’t know whether you can see here, behind my legs, how deep I am. Well, this is where they stand now, so that yorker ball, that was on this line, here, is a slot delivery. And it just gets put out of the park. So, now, it has to be, really deep in the crease. Exactly where Jofra Archer just bowled there, so that’s where the challenge is. Do you go wide? Do you go straight? And that’s where they play around with it, now, these bowlers… are we going at the stumps? Are we going to go wide yorkers? And this is something now that batsmen are doing… staying deep, knowing… and it’s just slightly, what, about a foot and a half.”
“It’s just practice, and practice, something I think bowlers are struggling to understand. If you nail these yorkers, Lasith Malinga always nailed them and that’s why he was one of the best bowlers, not just in IPL, but in world cricket. So, it’s slightly about a foot deeper from where it used to be,” the 49-year-old added.
To Brian Lara’s question if that ball would have been a full toss 20 years ago, Cork replied: “That would be a full toss. If Brian Lara is facing this and I try and bowl in a yorker, which is deep, Brian Lara is got his bat up here and guess where Dominic Cork’s going.”