Innovation is the need of the hour in the ultra competitive Twenty20 cricket. Out of the box thinking can give teams the upper hand.
Inventions, however, are not restricted to matches alone. Unorthodox methods are being used in practice sessions by teams so that players get used to it during matches.
Fast bowlers practice their yorkers by keeping a pair of shoes on the crease and aim at them. Later the teams advanced to dummy batsman, currently used by Team India, to practice those toe crushers. Trust Pakistan to be different when it comes to unorthodox methods. Their bowling coach Mohammad Akram has come up with a method that attracted onlookers.
On Friday at the Sher-e-Bangla Academy ground, Pakistani bowlers including off-spinner Saeed Ajmal were seen going through their bowling drills, dishing out yorkers after yorkers. And the object that they had to bowl was a rubber tyre cut into half.
Fast bowlers Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir Mohammad Talha were seen running in hard and bowling fiery stuff, trying to hit the block hole of the tyre. Ajmal, whose strength is variation, was also practicing this art at a decent pace. The other day, the champion off-spinner dismissed Australia's Aaron Finch, who was cruising at 65, with a scorching yorker that uprooted his leg stump and paved the way for a Pakistan win.
Pakistan's former express bowler Shoaib Akhtar, a yorker specialist and on a commentary job for the tournament, was seen giving lessons to the young guns on how to bowl the dreaded delivery.
Akram said they have been using tyres in practice sessions for some time. "We have been using the tyre method for two-and-a-half months. It certainly helps the bowlers to know where the block hole is," he told dna.
Akram, who has played in nine Tests and 23 ODIs for Pakistan, spoke how important yorker is in today's game. "You need to have yorkers, especially in death overs," he said.
The 39-year-old Akram was unhappy with the current generation of bowlers not being able to bowl yorkers. "Our generation had better bowlers who could bowl yorkers unlike today's youngsters," he said.
Akram also revealed how the bowlers are struggling to reverse swing in limited overs. "They can't even reverse swing in the limited overs because of the two new balls. In T20s, the match is over before the ball gets old. So there is no scope for reverse swing. You can't do hanky-panky things since there are 30 cameras to watch you. So, if there is no reverse swing which was once a variation, yorker has come into play in a major way. That is why so much stress is being given to yorker today."