Indian pace trio possess potent yorkers, says Bharat Arun

India now has three pacemen – Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah – who are among the best in world cricket when delivering crushers. Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun, who has worked closely with all three, describes their methods of bowling yorkers.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (right) has a variety of yorkers, observes Bharat Arun.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

The ball slices through the air, travelling with velocity and precision. The bat comes down late on the sphere, the stumps are shattered. A well-directed yorker bamboozling batsman and rearranging wickets is among the most exciting sights in cricket.

India now has three pacemen – Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah – who are among the best in world cricket when delivering these toe-crushers. Former India bowling coach B. Arun has worked closely with all three. In a conversation with Sportstar on Thursday, Arun, who was with the Indian team from 2014 to 2016, said, “The margin of error for a yorker is very low. It can be over-pitched or turn out to be a full toss. You need to travel beyond your comfort levels to get it right.”

How then does a pacemen perfect his yorkers? Arun replied, “You start by bowling full tosses in practise and gradually bring the height down until you start hitting the base of the stumps. The bowler has to find the release point that works best for him while bowling yorkers. It’s a lot about the feel.”

Talking about Yadav, Arun observed, “These was a phase when his yorkers were going down the leg-side. Then we got him to aim outside the off-stump and his action ensured the ball was now hitting the stumps.”

Arun said, “Umesh is very strong, is quick. He also has a yorker that swings in late. This makes his yorkers particularly dangerous. The batsman shapes to play the ball then it dips at that speed, somewhat like Waqar Younis’ deliveries.”

‘Skilful’ Bhuvneshwar

Bhuvneshwar, Arun noted, had a variety of yorkers; the quicker ball, the yorker outside off, the slower one. He said, “Bhuvneshwar uses his wrist to take the pace off the ball, is very skilful while delivering those slow yorkers. And his quicker yorker is very sharp because he now has explosive strength after intense speed and weight training under Basu.”

Bhuvneshwar, Arun added, was someone who used the crease particularly well while sending down the yorkers. Arun, who has played a significant role in Bumrah’s emergence, said, “He has a whippy, quick-arm action, that is hard to pick. The batsman probably sees the ball a fraction later than from most other bowlers.”

The former India bowling coach elaborated, “Bumrah’s load up is so much away from the body, the arm stretched fully and straight, that the batsman is often struggling to read his delivery. Importantly, Bumrah bowls the quick and the slow yorkers without any change in his arm speed.”

‘Death’ bowling has often been India’s weak spot in the past. Now the side has an eager yorker-hungry pack of pacemen. The transformation has been remarkable.

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