Ranking the 10 Best Bowlers of the Yorker
The yorker is one of the hardest deliveries to get right in cricket, something many bowlers spend an entire career trying to perfect.
However, at international level some of the great fast bowlers have managed to find perfect yorkers time after time.
Read on for 10 of the best exponents of this delivery.
Andrew Flintoff: Flintoff could produce magical deliveries seemingly at will. His yorker to Javagal Srinath in the sixth One Day International in 2002 between England and India was a ball that sparked wild scenes of celebration and helped establish him in the England team.
Zaheer Khan: A left-arm seamer with the ability to make the ball skid, Zaheer Khan was India’s premier fast bowler for many years and was able to restrict batsmen in the final overs of ODIs thanks to his merciless yorkers.
Umar Gul: With the uncanny ability to produce yorkers seemingly out of nowhere, Pakistan’s Umar Gul routinely rips stumps from the ground with his full-pitched fast bowling.
10. Darren Gough
In at No. 10 is one of England’s most consistent bowlers during the 1990s and early 2000s: Darren Gough.
Despite his injury problems, Gough’s swing at pace made him a superb bowler of the yorker, especially in the closing overs of One Day Internationals.
9. Shaun Tait
With his sheer pace and slingshot action, Shaun Tait’s yorkers are a terrifying prospect to face for batsmen across the world.
While he may not play Test matches or One Day Internationals any more, Tait is ideally suited for short bursts in Twenty20 matches.
His pace means he may go for a few runs, but when he gets his delivery right there are few batsmen in world cricket that can keep him out.
8. Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose was a terrifying prospect to face in the 1990s, especially in partnership with Courtney Walsh for the West Indies.
With his height, Ambrose always found bounce from the pitch, but his yorkers could also be lethal thanks to his pacey and accurate bowling.
7. Brett Lee
Another Australian speedster comes in at No. 7, a man who challenged for the crown of fastest bowler in the world: Brett Lee.
Lee relied on his extreme pace and accuracy to get wickets and would often bowl a yorker to a new batsman to prevent him from getting settled.
He is a bowler seemingly tailor-made for Twenty20 cricket, as he can bowl in short bursts at express pace and use his super yorkers to dry up the runs.
6. Shane Bond
A bowler whose career was sadly curtailed by injury, New Zealand’s Shane Bond was another capable of some superb yorkers at high pace.
His fragile body may have limited his appearances and prevented him from dominating international cricket, but when fit his bowling spells were always special.
His yorkers were always the highlight.
5. Dale Steyn
One of the best fast bowlers in the world, Dale Steyn’s swing at pace has presented real problems for any opposition he has faced.
This swing makes his yorkers some of the most dangerous in world cricket to face, especially when coupled with his express pace.
4. Wasim Akram
One half of the most lethal new-ball pairing in world cricket during the 1990s, Wasim Akram’s yorkers picked him up plenty of wickets.
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.
His yorkers also gained the reputation of being some of the fiercest.
3. Shoaib Akhtar
Another Pakistani comes in at No. 3, as Shoaib Akhtar’s relatively brief time on the international stage saw him castling batsmen all over the world.
With the ability to bowl at extreme pace not seen for decades, Akhtar’s yorkers regularly left batsmen’s stumps in tatters in all forms of the game.
2. Lasith Malinga
Another fast bowler who has chosen to specialise in the shorter forms of the game is Lasith Malinga.
This is a terrifying prospect for batsmen the world over, as the Sri Lankan’s yorkers are among the very best in the international game.
Now bowling shorter spells to reduce the strain on his body, Malinga is arguably the best exponent of the yorker to be currently playing.
1. Waqar Younis
For more than a decade, the sight of Waqar Younis steaming in to bowl was one of the most exciting in cricket.
The former Pakistan captain was a master of swing and seam movement, and had a toe-crushing yorker to match.
He would regularly uproot the stumps with his superb full-pitch bowling, even in the latter stages of his career, when his pace was somewhat reduced.
He remained the best exponent of the yorker until his retirement, and there have been few who are close to him in comparison.