In a cricket match, when a ball is bowled with full-length delivery and it hits the pitch around the feet of the batsman then it is termed a Yorker ball. There is a special way to bowl a Yorker rendering the ball unusable to avoid runs on board and thus it requires a lot of effort to implement the right throw for it.
There are many types of Yorkers including the Fast Yorker, Slow Yorker, Swinging Yorker, and then comes the Toe Crushing Yorker. It is an important asset in matches, especially in T20 cricket or even in the death overs, to infuse fear in the batsman and lower the run rate by avoiding 4s and 6s and gradually decreasing the momentum of the play. Now let’s delve into the top 10 best Yorkers in cricket history.
Waqar Younis, former captain of the Pakistan National Cricket Team, Pakistani cricket coach, and also a commentator is considered the greatest right-handed fast bowler. He represented Pakistan in 87 Tests and played a total of 262 ODIs. His ability to bowl inswing Yorkers at lightning speeds helped him lay hold off 373 Test wickets and 416 ODI wickets in his career.
He aimed at the batsman’s toes bowling full and fast due to which he was named “The Toe Crusher”. Waqar Younis made his first International cricket debut against India on 16 November 1989 taking four wickets including the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev.
No wonder why he has been among the best swing bowlers who deliver perfect toe-breaking Yorkers. Waqar Younis could uproot the stumps with his pace and thus he remained the best bowler in the cricket world.
Former Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga and right-arm fast bowler started his career in the late 2000s and ended his golden period in the early 2010s. He had a very unique style of bowling in which his bowl was released almost parallel to the surface which made it difficult for the batsman to score runs. He is known as the yorker king.
Malinga spent hours practicing hitting the boots hence perfecting his bowling spearheads, and started with test matches in Australia in 2004, where he showed off his skills bowling perfect yorkers.
Lasith Malinga loves bowling in swinging yorker and is among the most terrifying and deadliest bowlers in the world of cricket. He’s the only player in the history of the game to have taken four wickets off four consecutive deliveries in an ODI. Malinga played a massive role in setting up Sri Lanka as a superpower in cricket.
Shoaib Akhtar, nicknamed the “Rawalpindi Express” is a Pakistani former cricketer and commentator. With the ability to bowl at an extreme pace, he was the first bowler who could bowl at the speed of 100 miles per hour and blow up stumps leaving the batsman frightened with fiery eyes.
He was a mystery fast bowler who even sent legends like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and even Sourav Ganguly back to the pavilion with his mastered delivery. Shoaib also played for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL where he took four wickets with just 11 runs given against Delhi Daredevils.
No doubt he was one of the leading wicket-taker in his time with astonishing speed variations and played 19 world cup matches with an average of 38.00.
The greatest left-handed fast bowler in cricket history represented Pakistan in all formats of world cricket and became the first person to record 500 wickets in the 50-over format. Wasim Akram could deliver the best yorker balls and have fast bowlers play.
With the ability to swing the old ball even in the most unhelpful conditions, Akram gained a reputation as one of the best left-arm seamers to ever play the game.
Dale Willem Steyn is a South African cricketer and the best Test bowler of his time. In the world cup, he averages 23.39 and has taken 23 wickets in 14 games. Later in 2008, he became the fastest South African to outstretch 100 Test wickets. Then, Steyn was named ICC Test Player of the Year after taking 86 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 18.10.
Although he has not played much cricket his swing at pace has been challenging for any opposition including the yorkers which are some of the most dangerous once in the world.
There were many ups and downs in his career, many injuries, groin strains in Champions Trophy June 2013 and 2015 Test series, and a rib fracture in 2014. Dale Steyn in his second Test in Centurion delivered a short ball to Craig Cumming, unfortunately, the ball crashed into his face and he was heavily injured.
Former Australian cricketer and all-rounder Brett Lee was recognized as one of the fastest bowlers in the world. In the 2000s, he was a great weapon for his team and a master with the new ball as his balls saw coming forth yorkers and swingers for the new batsman making him unable to settle.
Lee was a strike bowler and most suitable for T20 cricket as he could bowl in short formats with the extreme pace slowing up runs on board. In 2014-15, he decided to retire from all forms of cricket. No doubt he was a fierce competitor on the field and a rare Australian player having popularity among the Indians.
Another South African International cricketer and a right-arm fast bowler Kagiso Rabada made his One Day International debut for South Africa against Bangladesh on 10 July 2015, achieving the best figures of 6/16 on debut and is the second player who took a hat-trick in a One Day Internationals debut.
He could hit the ball hard and is the best yorker bowler on the South African team and emerging talent with a bowling speed of 140-150kph at the age of 21 only. Kagiso Rabada became the youngest South African cricketer to take 10 wickets in a match.
Even his yorkers could bring down the batsman to his feet yet. Rabada is one of his kind and uses his pace very intelligently while bowling toe-crushing yorkers.
Also, read Top 10 leg spinners of all time
Trent Boult is a left-arm quick tall-heightened bowler who presents a significant threat to batsmen around the world with an ability to move the ball both ways even in difficult conditions for the New Zealand team. He secured 10 wickets against West Indies in a Test cricket match which was one of the glorious moments for him.
He was selected for the 2015 World Cup due to his abilities and was enhanced as one of world cricket’s exciting new talents with the ball as the highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets. He mastered the art of bowling inswing yorkers and achieved great success.
Once again another Australian international cricketer and the left-arm fast bowler has served his team for more than a decade and has made life uncomfortable for the batsmen with his marvellous stock delivery.
There is no comparison to him when it comes to bowling yorkers as he can deliver six yorkers in exactly six balls where batters fail to secure runs on board for their team. At just the age of 16, he grasped the concept of fast bowling by following the fundamentals with his coach Neil D’Costa.
Mitchell Starc was also the leading wicket-takers of the 2015 World cup, which helped Australia a lot in their successful journey. He is number 2 in bowling best yorkers.
One of the best death bowlers on the Indian cricket team Jasprit Bumrah is a right arm, fast bowler substitute to Lasith Malinga in the art of bowling perfect inch yorkers. Bowling at the speed of 145km/h with an unorthodox action, he even dismissed Chris Gayle in the t20 world cup game.
Jasprit Bumrah is now ranked the world no.1 in the best bowlers category in International cricket and has never disappointed men in blue and Mumbai Indians with his sling arm action and peculiar pace style.