The T20 version of cricket is considered a batsman’s format per se. Over the years though bowlers too have made an impact in the format, with their variations. The advent of T20 has given rise to mystery spinners and knuckle balls among others. The IPL, every year, churns out a number of new talents who impress with their bowling skills. Among fast bowlers, it is the yorker which is their most lethal weapon. In this feature, we take a look at the yorker kings of the IPL.
1. Lasith Malinga
The original yorker king of the IPL, Lasith Malinga will be sorely missed by Mumbai Indians and the fans in general. The bowler with a slinging action had variety in his yorkers too. He could be as effective bowling the slow-ball yorker as he was with the toe-crushing block-hole deliveries. Malinga won Mumbai Indians many matches with his unplayable yorkers. Irrespective of how tough the situation was, Mumbai knew they could look up to Malinga. And, more often than not, the Lankan legend hit bulls-eye.
Lasith Malinga’s IPL numbers: Matches – 122, Wickets – 170, SR – 16.62, Economy – 7.14
2. T Natarajan
So good was T Natarajan in IPL 2020, he became the new yorker king of the IPL, taking over the mantle from Malinga, who skipped the season. Every time SRH seemed in trouble, skipper David Warner turned to ‘Nattu’. And the soft-spoken left-arm seamer delivered almost every time. His ability to get his yorkers spot-on stunned cricket pundits. In a match against Delhi Capitals he managed to bowl six yorkers in a row. But, it was his unplayable delivery to dismiss AB de Villiers in the Eliminator against RCB that stood out. Natarajan has since, not surprisingly, made a name with an Indian team too.
T Natarajan’s IPL numbers: Matches – 22, Wickets – 18, SR- 25.16, Economy – 8.19
3. Jasprit Bumrah
Playing under Malinga has definitely helped Jasprit Bumrah fine-tune his game as a bowler. And the result has benefited India immensely. Like Malinga, Bumrah too has a unique action, but of a completely different kind – bizarre if one may call it so. But, it has undoubtedly played a part in him getting his yorkers right. Apart from Malinga, Bumrah has been the most consistent when it has come to getting the block-hole deliveries right. He has bowled innumerable yorkers, but his screamer to Shikhar Dhawan last season is fresh in mind.
Jasprit Bumrah’s IPL numbers: Matches – 92, Wickets – 109, SR- 19.19, Economy – 7.41
4. Kagiso Rabada
The South African fast bowler has been in excellent form for Delhi Capitals last two seasons. He is one of the prime reasons why the franchise have managed to improve their fortunes. Kagiso Rabada has got pace and accuracy. With experience, he is only getting smarter. And when Rabada decides to deliver the yorker, he rarely gets it wrong. Ask Andre Russell, who was famously castled by the pacer in IPL 2019, that too in the Super Over. Last season too he got most of his yorkers spot on.
Kagiso Rabada’s IPL numbers: Matches – 35, Wickets – 61, SR- 13.18, Economy – 13.18
5. Jofra Archer
Unlike some of the other fast bowlers, Jofra Archer prefers to use his yorker as a surprise weapon. He likes the ball banged in short, aiming at the batsman’s throat. And, he also has a highly efficient slower ball. But, when he gets decides to bowl the yorker, Archer surely surprises the batsman more often than not. His height and pace make it hugely disconcerting for a batsman to face him. In the 2018 edition, he bowled Shakib Al Hasan with a dead straight yorker. Even a batsman of Shakib’s calibre could do nothing to keep the ball out. He was Rajasthan Royals’ best bowler last year and, if he’s unavailable for IPL 2021, it will be a major blow for the franchise.
Jofra Archer’s IPL numbers: Matches – 35, Wickets – 46, SR – 17.93, Economy – 7.13
6. Anrich Nortje
He may have played only one season, but Anrich Nortje made such a stunning debut in IPL 2020, his name deserves a mention. Nortje bowled the fastest delivery in the history of the IPL last season. His extreme pace meant that when he went for the yorker, the batsmen were hurried into playing a shot. What worked in his favour though was his accuracy. Combined with his pace, his block-hole delivery became doubly lethal. Nortje castled Rahul Tripathi with an absolute ripper last season.
Anrich Nortje’s IPL numbers: Matches – 16, Wickets – 22, SR – 16.63, Economy – 8.39