Any bowler on any pitch at any time in the match can turn an innings around with the use of a good yorker or two.
And it's not just at the end of a Twenty20 game where they are useful.
A yorker is a difficult ball to negotiate, even for well set batsman. That means you can use it to break a big partnership in longer games just as effectively as you can keep runs down at the death.
So if they are so useful, why don't we see them used more often in non-professional cricket?
The target area is smaller than any other ball; there is no room for error. The ideal yorker must land in a tiny area at the batsman's feet:
Miss that box (which is about 50cm by 20cm) and you end up bowling a half volley or full toss and getting smashed for a boundary.
But learn how to hit that target and you will have a powerful weapon at any pace.
- Look at the target. As most bowler's where they look when they are running in and they won't be quite sure. But you wouldn't throw a dart at the bullseye without looking at it, so why is a yorker any different? Laser-focus your eyes in on the batsman's feet and imagine yourself hitting them as you run in.
- Drive your bowling shoulder to the target. In the Fast Bowler's Bible, Ian Pont tells us that the bowling shoulder is crucial in bowling a yorker. Drive it towards the base of the stumps and if you do it right the ball will be faster and fuller. Exactly what you need.
- Practice deliberately. Yorkers are hard to bowl so they need practice. Don't wait until a game to see if you can bowl one. After your normal net session lay down a target (or use PitchVision) and try and hit it. Go for 80:20 split. So if you bowl 40 balls in practice, bowl 8 yorkers at the end.
Keep track of your accuracy over the weeks you can trace how much you are improving.
The truth is, not many bowlers outside the pro game can produce a good yorker, but it is an effective weapon at any level.
The fact it's difficult stops most bowlers trying, but just a few extra balls practice a week will give you the confidence to bowl yorkers and take more wickets.