The yorker is arguably the most important delivery for a fast bowler to use so this is a guide on how to perfect it.
What is a Yorker?
A yorker is a full delivery that is intended to pitch at the batsman’s feet when they are standing in their normal stance. As it is aimed at the very bottom of the bat, it is very difficult to defend and it is almost impossible to score runs from a yorker when it is executed correctly.
How to Bowl a Yorker
Step 1: How to Hold the Ball for a Yorker
This is the first part of the equation and, while it may seem simple, this is an important starting point.
Most players will recommend bowling the yorker with a classic seam bowling grip. That seam will, therefore, run vertically between the index finger and the middle finger of your bowling hand.
Some suggest using a cross seam delivery but the classic grip would allow for the ball to swing more so I’d agree that the classic grip is best.
Step 2: Focusing and Aiming for a Yorker
As you run in to deliver the ball, you should focus clearly on where you want it to land. As we’ve seen, it should bounce right at the point where the bat hits the ground in the batsman’s regular stance.
Run in and keep your head up and as still as possible. The point of impact remains at the bottom of the bat at a point called the ‘blockhole’.
Step 3: Keep Your Eyes on the Batsman
If the batter shifts around in the crease, follow them with your eyes while keeping the head still. Whether they walk towards you or move outside off or leg stump, the optimum point of impact remains at the base of the bat.
Essentially, the blockhole moves around with the batsman. It remains at the base of his or her bat and this is what we’re still aiming to hit.
Step 4 – Try Different Run Ups for Accuracy
When you’re starting out with this technique, it can be difficult to master at first. One useful tip is to try a different run up – usually this will be shorter than the one used in your regular delivery action. You can also try running in more slowly than you would usually.
This may help you to focus more on accuracy but, in a match situation, it could be obvious to the batsman that you’re aiming for the yorker. For that reason, you should practise different run ups in the nets until you become more confident.
Step 5 – How to Drive Your Shoulder for a Yorker
The shoulder plays an important role in this sequence and it can help you perfect the art.
Drive your shoulder (i.e., put more power through it when releasing). This should help you to bowl a fuller delivery on that yorker length. It’s recommended that you practise this part of the action in isolation which you can easily do in the nets or in an outdoor space.
Step 6 – When to Release the Ball
The release point is interesting to note here. Because we are looking to bowl a full ball, it’s later than it would be if you were just looking to send down a delivery on a good length or short of a length.
Ideally, the bowler’s arm will be almost vertical as that ball is delivered. When the arm is high, you have a better chance of hitting the perfect yorker length.
Yorker Bowling Tips
Why is it Difficult to Bowl a Yorker?
It is difficult for a bowler to deliver a yorker because there is very little margin of error. If the ball is too full, it will become a full toss which is one of the easiest deliveries for a batter to hit.
In the modern day, batsmen have also developed a number of shots such as the ramp which can score runs from a yorker. In summary, the yorker must be delivered in the perfect place.
When Should You Bowl a Yorker?
A yorker can be delivered at any time during a game but some points in the match are more important than others. In limited overs cricket, you will see bowlers deliver more yorkers at the end of an innings. This is because they are harder to score from, so even if you don’t take a wicket, you should be keeping the run rate down.
In test cricket, the yorker is more of a surprise ball so don’t overuse it in the longer forms. The trick is to send it down when the batsman is least expecting it and you may see professional bowlers delivering yorkers after a series of short balls.
Don’t Strain Your Arms when Practising
A common mistake among young players is to feel that they have to bowl quicker when attempting a yorker. They try to put pace through the lower arms which can cause fatigue and even lead to injuries.
All of the pace within a yorker comes from the shoulder which we’ve seen will drive through in the final stages of delivery. Keep practising that part of the action and the pace that a yorker needs will come naturally without any unnecessary strain.
Practise all these techniques and keep bowling yorkers in the nets. When you hit the target on a regular basis, you should be more confident of sending down this type of delivery in a match situation.
It’s hard to be confident in our abilities at times but do stay positive and you should be able to send down yorkers with pinpoint accuracy.