IPL 2017 April 11, 2017

Bowling yorkers easy to say, not to bowl - Nehra

'Everyone says 'oh, bowl a yorker' because somebody who never bowled doesn't know what it takes to bowl a yorker' - Ashish Nehra © BCCI

Bowlers need to be mentally tough and "very strong" to bowl impressive spells in the end overs in T20 matches, experienced paceman Ashish Nehra has said. Nehra emphasised on how bowlers need to focus on executing their skills to become mentally strong. The left-arm quick has become a specialist in the shortest format in the last couple of years in the IPL, and made his return to the Indian T20 team when he was picked for the Australia tour last year.

"My simple thinking about bowling in the death, number one is that mentally you have to be very strong," Nehra said on the eve of Sunrisers Hyderabad's third match, against Mumbai Indians. "There are so many times I have seen that the first ball you bowl goes for a six, the second ball also goes for a six and you feel maybe this over is going for 25-26 runs. But if you are mentally strong and even if the first two balls go for sixes, you can still bowl a 15-run over. Those 5-10 runs make a big difference.

"In the death overs, only if you execute your skills you will do well but you have to be mentally very strong. One or two bad games doesn't matter. I have seen bowlers in the past who have had two or three bad games and from there onwards, the whole tournament they will play or the teams will drop them after five or six games and they never recover, that is the main thing in T20 cricket."

During India's recent T20 series against England, Nehra, along with Jasprit Bumrah, had turned the second match around in the end overs in Nagpur. Chasing 145, England were comfortably placed at 104 for 3, needing 41 from 30 balls with Ben Stokes and Joe Root at the crease. But Nehra and Bumrah bowled a deceiving mix of yorkers and slower deliveries to concede 35 runs and pick three wickets in the last five overs, sealing India's five-run win. Nehra had said after the match he had advised Bumrah to rely on his yorkers. On Tuesday, however, Nehra said bowling yorkers was not an easy art.

"Everbody's mindset is different," Nehra said. "Yorker is one word which I hear in T20 cricket, the more and more I play. It is very easy to say like everyone says 'oh, bowl a yorker' because somebody who never bowled doesn't know what it takes to bowl a yorker, especially when the ground is wet on a ground like Mumbai.

"It is very easy to say go and bowl a yorker. If it's in my hands to bowl good yorkers, I can bowl six. It is not that easy."

Nehra also said bowlers could not afford to get carried away if they bowled stifling first spells, but what mattered was how many runs a bowler conceded in his four overs, not in individual spells.

"Sometimes, you bowl three overs for 18 runs and you think today is a good day, and the last over goes for 20 runs," Nehra said. "Look at Sandeep Sharma yesterday, he gave just 7-8 runs in his first three overs (7) but his last over went for 20 (19). So it doesn't mean your day is over, your day is not over till the time you finish your four overs and the team completes 20 overs."

Vishal Dikshit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mjthep3843525 on April 12, 2017, 13:31 GMT

    @Assertive-Indian //and is the only surviving player of team India from the team of 2003! You forgot yuvi :)

  • tariq08451063 on April 12, 2017, 12:51 GMT

    Lolz Said by a bowler who used to get smashed by opposition bowlers in his playing days & whose footsteps dinda,ishant,stokes,watson etc r following. Irfan pathan on any day is definitely a much better left arm fast bowler than nehra. Shame on al franchise owners who ignored a legend like irfan pathan in dis year's auction Also bcoz of dis overrated nehra bhuvi never gets to play in indian t20 team.

  • Satish on April 12, 2017, 12:19 GMT

    Yorkers have no real definition these days. A foot forward, you get a low full toss which u can smash to mid wkt or scoop to fineleg for a 4/6. Similarly the batsman can afford take half a foot back and make it a half volley and still smack. So a good yorker depends on where the batsman plays these days

  • Jose on April 12, 2017, 11:14 GMT

    I love the "gung-ho" spirit & the "never-say-die" attitude of Nehra. But on the question of yorkers, while agreeing with him;

    I would prefer to add,

    "All bowlers are equals, but some bowlers are more equal than others",

    paraphrasing a sentence from George Orwell's fantastic book,"Animal Farm"!

  • Raman on April 12, 2017, 10:18 GMT

    Ashish Nehra is one amazing player. He played stellar roles for India in 2003 and 2011 ODI world cups, and is the only surviving player of team India from the team of 2003! Truly a historic figure, who still looks very young! Nehraji has proved that age is just a number...

  • Rakesh on April 12, 2017, 8:45 GMT

    This IPL, Zaheer and Nehra are doing well too. Experience does increases the mental aspect to cross physical breaking points.

  • Siddharth on April 12, 2017, 0:45 GMT

    Even a yorker isn't safe. Batsmen can set themselves or the amount of inside edges that go for 4

  • cool on April 11, 2017, 19:09 GMT

    Great to have such mature head in Sunrisers team. He's a never say never type guy who gives his 100% be it a player or from dugout.

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