March 26, 2012

What's with the full tosses?

C'mon fellas, you're meant to be the best in the world and you're paid accordingly. No other profession would accept such a high ratio of execution error to this extent
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Despite full-time careers as cricketers, doing precious little else other than train, play, recuperate and shop for designer clothing, I'm not convinced that modern bowlers are any better today than they ever were. In fact, under pressure, I'd argue that they are a lot worse, despite the increasing presence of sports psychologists and other professional ancillary staff. Unlike their predecessors of even a generation ago, the inability of international standard cricketers to repeatedly make 'execution errors' is a blight on their so-called professionalism and brings into question whether bowling coaches are raising standards at all.

I've just finished watching the final ODI between Australia and the West Indies. The fact that it finished up being mildly exciting was down to some brave hitting from Darren Sammy and Andre Russell but just about any half-decent batsman could probably have despatched a brace of knee-high full tosses into the stands. Notwithstanding pressure, nerves, home crowd support, sweaty hands, small boundaries and better cricket bats, it's hard to believe that the very best bowlers in Australia continued to bowl full tosses. I mean, these guys are supposedly the best bowlers in the country. Think about it - of all the thousands of cricketers playing the game in Australia, these guys are the very best. They have a full-time bowling coach at State or international level, they practice 4-5 times a week, they have the best that sports medicine/science can throw at them, they're hydrated and honed to perfection…and they can't land the ball on the pitch during a Powerplay.

It's not just Australia that are woeful in this regard. Just about every team in world cricket cannot execute these skills under pressure, despite never being more 'professional' than in this era. Sri Lanka were terrible under pressure recently in the ODI series in Australia, bowling full tosses that cost them dearly at crucial times. India were no better - their death bowling was horrendous at times, most of it coming down to a simple inability to bowl yorkers. They weren't missing by a small amount either. The difference between a yorker and a waist-high full toss is some margin of error. It's like an opera singer continually missing the high note - if they miss it more than once in a performance, they'd be torn to shreds by the critics.

Bowling a yorker, even under pressure, is not that hard. Sure, batsmen have now developed strategies to cope with it, including standing deep in the crease or the new ramp shot. So it may not necessarily be tactically astute to attempt to bowl a yorker every ball. But surely no one can argue that bowling a waist-high full toss was part of the plan. Whatever it was they were trying to bowl, it was poorly executed, not just once or twice but time and time again. Surely they're not executing it this poorly at practice because if they were, they wouldn't be selected. So why are international bowlers unable to cope with pressure? Is it a mental thing?

If you go back a few years, the international standard bowlers doing the rounds could bowl yorkers almost at will. Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Graham Dilley, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Glenn McGrath, Chaminda Vaas, the list goes on…none of these guys bowled waist high full tosses at the rate that modern bowlers are doing right now. So what's changed? The weight of the ball or the length of the pitch? Clearly not.

Yes, I understand the notion of pressure and nerves etc but that hasn't changed in the last 40 years. I played 12 seasons of league cricket in England and had to bowl at the death every single weekend with the pressure of being the overseas pro and all that it entailed in a small goldfish bowl. I can never recall bowling that many full tosses. Better cricketers than me who were the pro's for opposing teams certainly gave me no freebies to plonk over midwicket. I'm at a loss to understand why the most coached, cossetted and full-time cricketers in the history of the game cannot execute a simple skill more effectively.

It's not as if this game against the West Indies is the only time it has happened. It's happening all the time, by most teams in world cricket. I remember an ODI in Sydney a few years ago when Umar Gul got it horribly wrong in the last few overs against Australia. It was hard to believe that such a talented bowler could get it that wrong. Who can ever forget Saeed Ajmal's horror over against Michael Hussey in the World T20 semi-final a few years ago (although, I must confess, I can't remember if any of them were rank full tosses)? Virat Kohli feasted on some late overs rubbish recently from various opposition. Yes, he is a brilliant batsman but it's a lot easier when the ball doesn't even bounce! I'm sure you've all got a favourite (or painful) memory to share.

I keep coming back to my own experiences, even at a very modest standard of cricket. It's not that hard! Sure, if batsmen come up with innovative ways to deal with yorkers, that requires a different strategy but I wouldn't have thought a steady diet of full tosses was part of that strategy. C'mon fellas, you're meant to be the best in the world and you're paid accordingly. No other profession would accept such a high ratio of execution error to this extent. At this level, it's simply not good enough.

Michael Jeh is an Oxford Blue who played first-class cricket, and a Playing Member of the MCC. He lives in Brisbane

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sribalaji on August 28, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Can't deny completely, but modern day bowlers have a lot of variety than yesteryear bowlers. A good outswinger on line and length and A odd yorker delivery was enuf for Mcgrath to succeed. But today bowlers use off-cutters, leg-cutters, slow bouncers, reverse swing, knucle ball, floater and what not.. thanks to the T20. So there is some compromise on accuracy i guess... But Wasim Akram was one exceptional bowler, who bowled all these sort of deliveries with great accuracy, but that too in later part of his career. Experience matters a lot, but before they reach 28, bowlers career gets over, thanks to the amount of cricket they play. It's a big mess all together.

  • jackthelad on July 1, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    It's not just the dodgy length, there's an epidemic in all forms of international cricket of wides and no-balls, arguing a basic lack of concentration on the fine detail of bowling in favour of more picturesque deliveries. How in heaven's name can a slow bowler bowl no-balls? Have they no idea of where their feet are? How can class quicks continually overstep the mark and fling the ball miles away from the wicket? Are they no longer told that 'these stumps were made for hittin''? Concentration on circuit training and holistic meditation when they should be in the nets getting it right.

  • waterbuffalo on March 31, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    Playing schoolboy (State ) cricket, the two worst deliveries were the long hop , half volleys and full tosses. If you bowled a full toss the wicky/captain and slips would yell at you or turn away in disgust, muttering. I never bowled a waist high full toss in my life in 12 years ( plus club cricket) Not even with a greasy ball. It's just not done for any bowler, pace or spin. Now these guys bowl garbage every over (ODI's) I would have been dropped if I bowled full tosses. It's not Cricket.

  • Jafer Chohan on March 29, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    I think that pakistan played really well and spoiled it totally at the end. Pakistan deserved to win.

  • shiv on March 29, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    Not sure many would agree with me, but i have also come to feel Batsmen these days don't utilise the freebies on offer. Although, i agree with you that in certain crunch games they cart even length balls, but i find most batsmen defensive on a full toss, which is in my opinion the easiest ball to hit; the faster the easier. i have also wondered why this happens since even at my level (tennis ball cricket) we have better control of the ball even though we play occasionally. More so, i wonder on the injuries these professional cricketers are currently experiencing. Like you have said with the amount of advances in cricketing facitlities and science per se, there could be no excuse for niggles these professional cricketers get afflicted with very frequently. i would think, it could be attributed to overdose or just negligence - since they aren't able to sustain discipline and concentration for long.I would put it down to the T20 effect, which has eroded the attention spans.

  • SkippyD on March 28, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    I think some of you are missing the point. If I was that rubbish at my job - I'd be fired. End of story. These guys get paid a lot and live out lives we can only fantasize about. If you can't stand the heat - stay out of the proverbial kitchen.

  • Kunal Talgeri on March 28, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    In 1997, if memory serves me well, Mark Taylor's Australia went to South Africa for a seven-match ODI series against Hansie Cronje's side. Two ODI teams at the peak of their powers -- both sides had batsmen who were finishers, and solidity in the top order. In this backdrop, their best bowlers Allan Donald and Glenn McGrath employed the full toss so cleverly that it even fetched them a bagful of wickets (through LBWs or catches in the deep) in the late overs. Given their pace as fast bowlers, the full toss was a surprise weapon and used sparsely. Of course, it is a different matter altogether when Praveen Kumar or Darren Sammy try this. :-D

  • Stone-Aamir on March 28, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    I agree with Michael but currently we donot have as many quality fast bowlers that we had 10-15 years ago. The pesent lot of fast bowlers are also struggling due to difficult conditions and very flat pitches, much more amount of cricket, batting oriented rules in limited overs. Any player can have a bad day but bowler's failures are rememberd much more then batsmen's. In limited over match one bad over can turn victory into defeat and it can also destroy bowler's career as we have many examples in the past. The quantity of cricket should be reduced so that bowlers can improve their skills and fitness as well.

  • ElTorqiro on March 28, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    You continue with the assumption that every yorker is the same. 10 years ago you could make that argument, and if Wasim sent down 6 yorkers in an over, they were all exactly the same delivery - big, inswinging, 1ft from front of off stump. If you bowl 6 balls in a row like that these days, you're likely to go for 15+ runs an over (just look at Malinga's woes in Australia recently).

    What you are seeing is not a failure to execute one type of delivery. It is a different delivery every single time, especially when you see a mistakes in a single over. The bowler isn't trying to trundle down the same ball each time - each one is different, be it a topspin slider, a knuckle slowerball, a split finger slowerball, a backspin dipper, or any other variation. Sure each is a "yorker" in length, but it's not one type of delivery being mis-bowled.

    Claiming otherwise doesn't help the public understand what is happening, and you should know better. Execution error, yes, but not of a single delivery.

  • Michael Jeh on March 27, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Sifter, I see your point but I can't agree with you on this one mate. Bowling a yorker is not that hard, even for a gumbie like me. What the batsman do with yorkers is a different thing altogether and I'm not suggesting that bowling 6 yorkers an over is necessarily a wise plan. But the point that many seem to be missing when debating this blog is that I don't think bowling rank full tosses was part of any plan. It's a yorker gone horribly wrong. So what I'm saying is that the modern bowler can't land the yorker accurately. It's not a debate as to whether the yorker may or may not be the best tactic anymore; what I'm saying is that the spate of full bungers just proves my point that they can't execute yorkers with the accuracy that international standard cricketers should. It's hardly like they meant to bowl fullies did they? So it's clearly an execution error, time and time again.

  • Sribalaji on August 28, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Can't deny completely, but modern day bowlers have a lot of variety than yesteryear bowlers. A good outswinger on line and length and A odd yorker delivery was enuf for Mcgrath to succeed. But today bowlers use off-cutters, leg-cutters, slow bouncers, reverse swing, knucle ball, floater and what not.. thanks to the T20. So there is some compromise on accuracy i guess... But Wasim Akram was one exceptional bowler, who bowled all these sort of deliveries with great accuracy, but that too in later part of his career. Experience matters a lot, but before they reach 28, bowlers career gets over, thanks to the amount of cricket they play. It's a big mess all together.

  • jackthelad on July 1, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    It's not just the dodgy length, there's an epidemic in all forms of international cricket of wides and no-balls, arguing a basic lack of concentration on the fine detail of bowling in favour of more picturesque deliveries. How in heaven's name can a slow bowler bowl no-balls? Have they no idea of where their feet are? How can class quicks continually overstep the mark and fling the ball miles away from the wicket? Are they no longer told that 'these stumps were made for hittin''? Concentration on circuit training and holistic meditation when they should be in the nets getting it right.

  • waterbuffalo on March 31, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    Playing schoolboy (State ) cricket, the two worst deliveries were the long hop , half volleys and full tosses. If you bowled a full toss the wicky/captain and slips would yell at you or turn away in disgust, muttering. I never bowled a waist high full toss in my life in 12 years ( plus club cricket) Not even with a greasy ball. It's just not done for any bowler, pace or spin. Now these guys bowl garbage every over (ODI's) I would have been dropped if I bowled full tosses. It's not Cricket.

  • Jafer Chohan on March 29, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    I think that pakistan played really well and spoiled it totally at the end. Pakistan deserved to win.

  • shiv on March 29, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    Not sure many would agree with me, but i have also come to feel Batsmen these days don't utilise the freebies on offer. Although, i agree with you that in certain crunch games they cart even length balls, but i find most batsmen defensive on a full toss, which is in my opinion the easiest ball to hit; the faster the easier. i have also wondered why this happens since even at my level (tennis ball cricket) we have better control of the ball even though we play occasionally. More so, i wonder on the injuries these professional cricketers are currently experiencing. Like you have said with the amount of advances in cricketing facitlities and science per se, there could be no excuse for niggles these professional cricketers get afflicted with very frequently. i would think, it could be attributed to overdose or just negligence - since they aren't able to sustain discipline and concentration for long.I would put it down to the T20 effect, which has eroded the attention spans.

  • SkippyD on March 28, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    I think some of you are missing the point. If I was that rubbish at my job - I'd be fired. End of story. These guys get paid a lot and live out lives we can only fantasize about. If you can't stand the heat - stay out of the proverbial kitchen.

  • Kunal Talgeri on March 28, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    In 1997, if memory serves me well, Mark Taylor's Australia went to South Africa for a seven-match ODI series against Hansie Cronje's side. Two ODI teams at the peak of their powers -- both sides had batsmen who were finishers, and solidity in the top order. In this backdrop, their best bowlers Allan Donald and Glenn McGrath employed the full toss so cleverly that it even fetched them a bagful of wickets (through LBWs or catches in the deep) in the late overs. Given their pace as fast bowlers, the full toss was a surprise weapon and used sparsely. Of course, it is a different matter altogether when Praveen Kumar or Darren Sammy try this. :-D

  • Stone-Aamir on March 28, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    I agree with Michael but currently we donot have as many quality fast bowlers that we had 10-15 years ago. The pesent lot of fast bowlers are also struggling due to difficult conditions and very flat pitches, much more amount of cricket, batting oriented rules in limited overs. Any player can have a bad day but bowler's failures are rememberd much more then batsmen's. In limited over match one bad over can turn victory into defeat and it can also destroy bowler's career as we have many examples in the past. The quantity of cricket should be reduced so that bowlers can improve their skills and fitness as well.

  • ElTorqiro on March 28, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    You continue with the assumption that every yorker is the same. 10 years ago you could make that argument, and if Wasim sent down 6 yorkers in an over, they were all exactly the same delivery - big, inswinging, 1ft from front of off stump. If you bowl 6 balls in a row like that these days, you're likely to go for 15+ runs an over (just look at Malinga's woes in Australia recently).

    What you are seeing is not a failure to execute one type of delivery. It is a different delivery every single time, especially when you see a mistakes in a single over. The bowler isn't trying to trundle down the same ball each time - each one is different, be it a topspin slider, a knuckle slowerball, a split finger slowerball, a backspin dipper, or any other variation. Sure each is a "yorker" in length, but it's not one type of delivery being mis-bowled.

    Claiming otherwise doesn't help the public understand what is happening, and you should know better. Execution error, yes, but not of a single delivery.

  • Michael Jeh on March 27, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Sifter, I see your point but I can't agree with you on this one mate. Bowling a yorker is not that hard, even for a gumbie like me. What the batsman do with yorkers is a different thing altogether and I'm not suggesting that bowling 6 yorkers an over is necessarily a wise plan. But the point that many seem to be missing when debating this blog is that I don't think bowling rank full tosses was part of any plan. It's a yorker gone horribly wrong. So what I'm saying is that the modern bowler can't land the yorker accurately. It's not a debate as to whether the yorker may or may not be the best tactic anymore; what I'm saying is that the spate of full bungers just proves my point that they can't execute yorkers with the accuracy that international standard cricketers should. It's hardly like they meant to bowl fullies did they? So it's clearly an execution error, time and time again.

  • Ishrat on March 27, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Agree with a lot of comments that there is a great emphasis on bowling Yorkers in international cricket. Not everyone can bowl Yorkers like wasim and waqar. Also where are the express fast bowlers, with the exception of Steyn etc other teams do not possess nor want to possess express pacers but are content with line and length bowlers

  • suk on March 27, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    thought provoking article,however it is sometimes unfair to compare cricketers of the past with the current ones,eg in the past the margin of error for wides was greater,and isn't the white ball a factor as far as control is concerned? you can't compare viv richards with tendulkar who never faced out and out pace wihout a helmet.

  • Shawhal on March 27, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    All you guys who posted that it is harder today because of the innovation shown by batsmen, are seriously missing the point.

    He agrees that everything has improved, but surely waist high full tosses are unforgivable and it is surely not part of the plan.

    When the Aussie bowlers are practising, if they must bowl that tripe to Watson and Hussey, there would be no bowlers left in the nets to bowl. They should be working on other deliveries too and not only their yorkers.

    No matter what anyone says, WAIST HIGH full tosses are unforgivable,

  • ElTorqiro on March 27, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    League cricket is not international cricket (not even close), and T20 cricket, like it or not, has completely changed the face of target-oriented batting. As a response, bowlers are now being asked to have an enormous amount of variety and disguise in their bowling, it isn't enough to simply plonk it on a length and wait for the batsman to make a mistake, and the old ODI staple, the yorker, is now simply just another delivery that batsman have learnt to adapt to. In just the past few years we've gone from a fast bowler having to learn and execute around six different grips for various deliveries, to over a dozen now. The biggest difficulty is the well disguised slower ball, which for someone bowling at 150kph is insanely difficult to get right, especially when having to make a last second change of length and line to accomodate movement in the crease by the batsman.

    So what you are seeing is absolutely not a failure to execute a bog standard yorker from 10 years ago, far from it.

  • piebowler on March 27, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Adelaide, 2012, IND v AUS, facing Clint McKay, Dhoni needs 13 off the last over. First ball, Dhoni bashes a knee-high full toss 112m down the ground. Three balls later, Dhoni hits a full toss straight to Warner at deep-midwicket... but it's a above-waist-full-toss no ball. India win with 2 balls to spare.

  • Nowin on March 27, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    I agree with you Michael. I recently read Glenn Turner's article about fast bowlers being "killed with love". All the talks about fast bowlers having too much of workload seems weird when they are either rested or injured in atleast 35% matches. They do not bowl as much in nets either now a days if we go by what Tony Greig and Geoff Boycott say. My theory is that it is because of excessive but incorrect exercises. I think a lot of today's gym work is focussed on having a beach body and to make the athletes faster and more agile. Kinda like F-1 cars. But we need fast bolwers to be more like NASCARs; not that fast or glamorous but to endure any kind of terrain and not break up. To put it in a nutshell Merv Hughes with his pouch was loads fast bolwing fit that Brett Lee with underwear model body.

  • Ali Shah on March 27, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    with regards to Ajmal getting thrashed by Mike Hussey, I don't think Ajmal bowled that badly. He is a spinner so his yorker is not supposed to be as effective as a fast bowler. That day Hussey took him apart with awesome batting. Do agree with you though that rank full tosses seems to be the order of the day since we have 2 new balls from both ends

  • Busie1979 on March 27, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    I agree that the quality of yorkers is not as good. Malinga is very good. However, before we praise Akram etc, we have to recognise that they had it easier. I do think the pressure is greater these days than in the past because of more inventive death batting, stronger batsman, better bats, flatter pitches, and powerplays, which means that the margin for error is much smaller. Nowadays, if you get it slightly wrong, you are more likely to go for plenty and less likely to get away with it. Also, new techniques mean a yorker is no longer a guaranteed dot ball - which makes bowlers second guess what the batsman is going to do, which affects their execution. Sometimes, batsman turn yorkers into full tosses by working the crease better. Another factor may be that bowlers don't practice yorkers as much so they are not as good at it. Instead they may be spending more time practising slower balls (including slow bouncers). Eg. McKay does not have a good yorker but has plenty of slower balls.

  • alok on March 27, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    I can offer a solution. These fast bowlers should practice bowling waist high full tosses. Under pressure they will not be able to bowl waist high full tosses and will bowl spot on yorkers.

  • Abdul R. Siddiqui on March 27, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Perhaps we should take into account that the bowlers you mentioned as the "greats" are MUCH greater than anyone else on the list of "horrid full tossers," so there is a mountain of difference in that comparison. Also, I think that the "death bowler" should be a specialty, not something that is naturally expected of an opening fast bowler or a spinner. Junaid Khan, if memory serves right, is coming across as a good death bowler; I also think Ashok Dinda was bright in a recent match against Pakistan. That having been said, full tosses are and have always been an inherent risk of sending down a yorker; just ask Chetan Sharma.

  • RohanMarkJay on March 27, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    Yep, congratulate the inventor of 20/20 cricket for the current plight of bowlers. As the shortened version of the game, has encouraged more risk taking in batting in cricket than ever before. More often than not its coming off. As even the best bowlers today get clobbered around in 20/20. I would have loved to have seen how 20/20 batters would have fared against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Ambrose, Garner, Marshall, Holding, Lillee, Thompson. I suspect they would have got clobbered too. Such is the nature of 20/20 batting.

  • Sifter on March 27, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Just one more thought: I think it's gotten to the point where quite a few batsmen WANT the bowlers to bowl them yorkers. I think of MS Dhoni, who is so good at standing deep in the crease and muscling through mid-wicket that the bowlers margin of error is SUPER small. Watch his 6 at Adelaide a month ago vs Australia. ALMOST exactly where Clarke told him to bowl, full outside off - it was just slightly short and it was into the stands. I think that's the difference nowadays. Knowing who yorkers can work against and who they won't work against. Good to have that weapon though if you can land them.

    And allie would Shane Watson have been a better captain if he'd gone down to McKay and said 'stop bowling full tosses'?? McKay would have thought Watson was an idiot. It was the most obvious thing in the world. McKay knew where he was supposed to be bowling, but wasn't bowling well - how that's Watsons fault I'll never know...

  • Sifter on March 27, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    I agree that the bowling has been poor, but I HATE the implication that somehow the olden bowlers were yorker machines, and by implication never bowled full tosses. In part it's a sugercoating of history eg. where we remember Wasim Akrams unplayable deliveries, not his listless spells and constant no-balls, the other part is that batsmen are SO much better equipped these days to play yorkers.

    "Bowling a yorker, even under pressure, is not that hard" I know you qualified this statement but it's ridiculous. A yorker has a smaller window than ANY other type of ball, metre short and its a half volley, metre full and its a full toss. If you're saying yorkers aren't that hard to bowl, then by definition you are saying it's not that hard to bowl in the same place every ball. That is rubbish I'm sorry to say. Good bowlers can get close to grouping 6 balls, bowlers in the zone can do it. But to suggest average cricketer Joe should just be able to plonk yorkers in at will is dumb.

  • Ross on March 27, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    Fox - the reason bowlers send down fullies is because they'd rather make a mistake full than short. Yes a full toss at knee height can go the distance. But a full toss that is ankle height can't. The batsman can't get under it, and the most likely hitting zone is always covered down the ground. However, if the bowler makes their mistake short, today's batsman can easily pick the ball up and dispatch it.

  • Meety on March 27, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Dunno why there are so many high full tosses. Out of the blue a high full toss is not as easy to put away agressively, although a dab thru the slips or off the pads is basically 4 runs. The problem is that a batsmen usually won't make a mistake a 2nd or 3rd time. A lot of commentators are saying that bowlers are deliberately trying to bowl low wide full tosses outside off stump as there is few places that this can be hit.

  • Brendan on March 26, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    I think you're failing to recognise the quality and innovation of batting has increased. Batsmen now practise unorthodox shots. What used to be an unplayable yorker is now padded around the corner for 4. What used to be a pinpoint bouncer is now taped over the keepers head. They all practise hitting in the air these days.. Time's have changed but not necesarily the bowling quality.

  • medumtum on March 26, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    I have to say being an avid cricket fan for three generations of fast bowlers i fully concur. Its not just the full tosses; the venom that pace bowlers used to possess is a thing of the past. That incredible ability to Dominate batsmen with pace, swing and seam seems to have been put well and truly behind modern day fast bowling. Its not the bouncer rule either. I can recall wasim and waqar bowling prolonged spells where batsmen while not getting out were forced to respect the bowler, and this whith even stricter bounce laws. Same with the WI quickies eg Marshall, Walsh and Ambrose or even Vaas as mentioned above. They used to not just strike willfully at the death but actually terrorize batsmen. One would get a real sense of theatre and combat. And even on dead pitches these guys would force the opposition batsmen into an examination of technique. Think back to McGrath and that aggressive control...Brett lee would often be a sideshow. Wonder why such a difference?

  • winston elliott on March 26, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Great article. I was at at three games in Sweet St.Lucia. Could not believe the number of consecutive full tosses. Still can't comprehend with bowling coaches,replays to observing bowling actions etc,how the best bowlers in the world can get it wrong so frequently. But being a spectator and being in the middle is two different things and the getting the yorker correct requires 100% accuracy each and every time.

  • winston elliott on March 26, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Great article. I was at at three games in Sweet St.Lucia. Could not believe the number of consecutive full tosses. Still can't comprehend with bowling coaches,replays to observing bowling actions etc,how the best bowlers in the world can get it wrong so frequently. But being a spectator and being in the middle is two different things and the getting the yorker correct requires 100% accuracy each and every time.

  • Karthik Iyer on March 26, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    A very nice article. Definitely, the bowlers are crumbling under pressure in today's world and none better than the experienced Lee to deliver rubbish full tosses the other evening. Probably, it stems from the fact that in death overs if you bowl full or length deliveries, you would be dispatched, hence that extra burden of targeting the base of the stumps.

  • allie on March 26, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    I agree every word Michael Jeh wrote. There was one over where McKay bowled four full tosses and was wacked every time.......some clearing the ground and the captain never said a word. I just think Watson is a bad captain.

  • Abhishek on March 26, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    The recent Indian defeat in the hands of Bangladesh in Asia Cup was also partly due to the barrage of full tosses Indiasn bowlers sent down!

  • zeuskris on March 26, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Yes, the highlights for AUS vs WI match was terrible to watch. Everyone from Brett Lee to McKay to Doherty was bowling rank full tosses. Watson eventually had to bring himself in as none of the bowlers were getting it right.

    If you are a bowler who just got smacked over the rope for a full toss, you just have to take a deep breath, calm down, wait few seconds and trying bowling an yorker.

  • Drlimple on March 26, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    The biggest hole in your theory is that you are not factoring in the effect of T20 cricket on batsmen's technique. The fact that batters today tend to be a lot more enterprising and take risks that batsmen of yore wouldn't think of taking in their wildest dreams, plays havoc with the "death bowling technique" of bowlers. You mention how Garner, Marshall, Akram, Younis could bowl yorkers almost at will. Well one of the reasons must have been they were safe in the knowledge that it would be a guaranteed dot ball, even if they were off their mark by a couple of inches, and that noone would dare try a shot as ridiculous as the Dilscoop. Bowlers today have to match the batsmen in resourcefulness and simply cannot afford to dish out one yorker after another. That might have led to a poorer yorker technique but I can guarantee that these hallowed names would go for as much if not more if they were somehow given a chance to prove their mettle in the modern version of the game.

  • Hitesh on March 26, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Yorkers can turn into full tosses due to lot of reasons; wet ball, batsman standing out of crease, batsman moving out of crease, or simply batsman moving too much. One thing we got to remember that batsmen are ready for yorkers today than back in the days when Garner and company used to bowl. I think bowlers try to bowl too many yorkers today.

  • Anshul on March 26, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Irfan Pathan , I remember was continuously bowling full tosses in asia cup matches and it was not like if he missed once in an over, it was like he was getting it right only once in an over.And I thought is he really that bad or am I being harsh?. Now I got my answer..

  • SAJIL_KANNUR CITY on March 26, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Recently the legendary Wasim Akram was talking to media about bowling yorkers at the death overs, according to him yorkers are the most difficult delivery to bowl as it is very risky, if there is minor execution error then it can be carted out of the ground. Even the masters of yorker, Waqar and Wasim sometimes bowled full toss and rank half volleys in their attempt to bowl yorkers. Remember that 1996 qarter final at Banglore when Ajay Jadeja mauled Waqar younis for more than 20 (if my memory is correct) runs in an over. ODI's played today is wastly different from those ODI played in 1990 or 80's; grounds are getting smaller, pitches are getting flater, rules are getting harder for bowlers, bats are improving; therefore, today's bowlers are always under pressure which consequently triggers errors such bowling full tosses.

  • Raheel on March 26, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Hi Michael, You're absolutely correct. I had been watching VB series, Asia-Cup and recent WI-Aus ODIs and thinking exactly the same, "What the hell is wrong with these medium pacers". Seriously, today's fast bowling is horrific. There is no aggression at top and absolutely no toe-breaking Yorkers at bottom (not even Malinga can bowl them). Cricket seriously needs some FAST bowlers.

  • MK on March 26, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Gotta say - I agree. Watching the televison coverage I could not believe the crap that was being bowled! Waist high full tosses are unforgivable even in schoolboy cricket. Players who want to represent their counntry at the highest level should be above such fundamental execution errors. It never would have happened in my day! Seriously though, as Richie Benaud once famously said - that really was at the lower end of the excellence scale! Com on guys, if you aspire to represent your country, bowl like you mean it - don't chuck pies.

  • P Goss on March 26, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    I simply cannot agree with you more on this subject. I was appalled to see such talent fling in full tosses repeatedly, when the captain has clearly thrown them the ball with a plan in mind. However the need to change from slow bouncers to yorkers and all the variations in between is more of a challenge than ever before, especially with batsmen using their crease more effectively. What really seemed to be lacking was good use of the crease by the bowlers to change the angle of delivery and I believe this is something that bowlers need to utilise more in the shorter formats of the game.

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  • P Goss on March 26, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    I simply cannot agree with you more on this subject. I was appalled to see such talent fling in full tosses repeatedly, when the captain has clearly thrown them the ball with a plan in mind. However the need to change from slow bouncers to yorkers and all the variations in between is more of a challenge than ever before, especially with batsmen using their crease more effectively. What really seemed to be lacking was good use of the crease by the bowlers to change the angle of delivery and I believe this is something that bowlers need to utilise more in the shorter formats of the game.

  • MK on March 26, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Gotta say - I agree. Watching the televison coverage I could not believe the crap that was being bowled! Waist high full tosses are unforgivable even in schoolboy cricket. Players who want to represent their counntry at the highest level should be above such fundamental execution errors. It never would have happened in my day! Seriously though, as Richie Benaud once famously said - that really was at the lower end of the excellence scale! Com on guys, if you aspire to represent your country, bowl like you mean it - don't chuck pies.

  • Raheel on March 26, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Hi Michael, You're absolutely correct. I had been watching VB series, Asia-Cup and recent WI-Aus ODIs and thinking exactly the same, "What the hell is wrong with these medium pacers". Seriously, today's fast bowling is horrific. There is no aggression at top and absolutely no toe-breaking Yorkers at bottom (not even Malinga can bowl them). Cricket seriously needs some FAST bowlers.

  • SAJIL_KANNUR CITY on March 26, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Recently the legendary Wasim Akram was talking to media about bowling yorkers at the death overs, according to him yorkers are the most difficult delivery to bowl as it is very risky, if there is minor execution error then it can be carted out of the ground. Even the masters of yorker, Waqar and Wasim sometimes bowled full toss and rank half volleys in their attempt to bowl yorkers. Remember that 1996 qarter final at Banglore when Ajay Jadeja mauled Waqar younis for more than 20 (if my memory is correct) runs in an over. ODI's played today is wastly different from those ODI played in 1990 or 80's; grounds are getting smaller, pitches are getting flater, rules are getting harder for bowlers, bats are improving; therefore, today's bowlers are always under pressure which consequently triggers errors such bowling full tosses.

  • Anshul on March 26, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Irfan Pathan , I remember was continuously bowling full tosses in asia cup matches and it was not like if he missed once in an over, it was like he was getting it right only once in an over.And I thought is he really that bad or am I being harsh?. Now I got my answer..

  • Hitesh on March 26, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Yorkers can turn into full tosses due to lot of reasons; wet ball, batsman standing out of crease, batsman moving out of crease, or simply batsman moving too much. One thing we got to remember that batsmen are ready for yorkers today than back in the days when Garner and company used to bowl. I think bowlers try to bowl too many yorkers today.

  • Drlimple on March 26, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    The biggest hole in your theory is that you are not factoring in the effect of T20 cricket on batsmen's technique. The fact that batters today tend to be a lot more enterprising and take risks that batsmen of yore wouldn't think of taking in their wildest dreams, plays havoc with the "death bowling technique" of bowlers. You mention how Garner, Marshall, Akram, Younis could bowl yorkers almost at will. Well one of the reasons must have been they were safe in the knowledge that it would be a guaranteed dot ball, even if they were off their mark by a couple of inches, and that noone would dare try a shot as ridiculous as the Dilscoop. Bowlers today have to match the batsmen in resourcefulness and simply cannot afford to dish out one yorker after another. That might have led to a poorer yorker technique but I can guarantee that these hallowed names would go for as much if not more if they were somehow given a chance to prove their mettle in the modern version of the game.

  • zeuskris on March 26, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Yes, the highlights for AUS vs WI match was terrible to watch. Everyone from Brett Lee to McKay to Doherty was bowling rank full tosses. Watson eventually had to bring himself in as none of the bowlers were getting it right.

    If you are a bowler who just got smacked over the rope for a full toss, you just have to take a deep breath, calm down, wait few seconds and trying bowling an yorker.

  • Abhishek on March 26, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    The recent Indian defeat in the hands of Bangladesh in Asia Cup was also partly due to the barrage of full tosses Indiasn bowlers sent down!

  • allie on March 26, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    I agree every word Michael Jeh wrote. There was one over where McKay bowled four full tosses and was wacked every time.......some clearing the ground and the captain never said a word. I just think Watson is a bad captain.