IPL 2018: Batsmen better against yorkers, says Heath Streak

Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling coach Heath Streak says Batsmen around the world have gotten better at playing yorkers and bowling them does represent some risk.

cricket Updated: Apr 21, 2018 09:21 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2018,Kolkata Knight Riders,Heath Streak
Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling coach Heath streak believes slower balls are important for bowlers to do well in IPL.(PTI)

Heath Streak said if yorkers, as cricket was used to seeing, have become few and far between in T20 it is because most batsmen in the shortest format are such good strikers of the ball.

“Not only is there the possibility of the bowler becoming predictable but also there is the risk of an attempted yorker being a half-volley or a low full toss. With most batsmen being such good ball strikers of the ball, it could go to the boundary. Also, now players will use the ramp shot even if there is a fine-leg. They can even go for the reverse ramp and that too has challenged the bowlers,” said Zimbabwe’s best all-rounder who was also their captain and coach. Streak, 44, is the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Hence bowlers tend to try the wide yorker, said Streak here on Friday ahead of KKR’s game against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday. “There are not many players who can consistently hit sixes on the off-side,” he said.

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The other thing that has come in the way of bowlers attempting sand-shoe crushers is variations of slower deliveries, said Streak.

“I think the effectiveness of variation balls has also come into it. They have become the flavour of the tournament and people are developing different varieties of the slower ball, not just the good old off-cutter and one off the back of the hand. We’ve seen the knuckle ball, (Dwayne) Bravo’s ball…,” he said.

Bravo, who plays for Chennai Super Kings, is known to bowl one with a quick arm action and get it to dip.

Accepting that it is tough for pacers on good wickets, Streak also said KKR’s fast bowlers will get better as the tournament progresses. Tom Curran, Andre Russell and Mitchell Johnson are all maybe low on match practice, he said.

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Shivam Mavi has had “an outstanding” start for someone who was playing under-19 cricket earlier this year and he too would get better over the next two seasons, Streak said. Like the Shubman Gill, the other India under-19 World Cup winner in the squad, Mavi is straight out of the Virat Kohli book of fielding and that has helped KKR this season, he said.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 09:19 IST