Yorker vs Googly: Difference and Comparison

Cricket is a sport that brings together various diverse techniques, that are involved in both batting and bowling.

Bowling actions, trends, and techniques have evolved through the ages according to the need of the evolving times, batsmen and pitches. Yorker and Googly are two of the many types of such bowling types. 

Key Takeaways

  1. A Yorker is a type of cricket delivery aimed at the batsman’s feet, while a Googly is a type of cricket delivery that spins in the opposite direction than expected.
  2. A Yorker is used to prevent the batsman from hitting the ball, while a Googly is used to deceive the batsman.
  3. A Yorker is used in fast bowling, while a Googly is used in spin bowling.

Yorker vs Googly

The difference between bowling a yorker and bowling a googly is that yorkers are bowled very close to the batsman, at or near his feet, whereas a googly is bowled at a normal length. 

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A yorker is a full-length delivery that is aimed at the batsman’s feet, making it much more difficult to hit as compared to a normal ball.

In the case of a perfect execution, the sheer speed and location of the first impact make it really difficult to play. 

A googly is a type of spin ball, which is pitched at a normal length. The fact that sets it apart from other spin deliveries is that it is a disguised spin ball, and that turns in the direction opposite to the leg-spinner’s normal delivery. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Yorker Googly 
Speed of Delivery Yorkers are fast-paced balls. A Googly is bowled at a slower pace like other spin balls. 
Type of Bowler Generally bowled by pacers, but not necessarily. Bowled by spinners. 
Delivery Length Delivery at the feet of the batsman. Delivery at normal length. 
Direction After Impact Yorkers do not have a lot of time to turn due to the unavailability of reaction time. Turns in the opposite direction of a leg-break, towards the batsman. 
Category of Technique Yorker falls under the pace bowling technique. A googly is a type of leg spin. 

What is Yorker? 

A yorker is a full-length delivery that is aimed near the batsman’s feet. If pitched well, yorkers are one of the most difficult deliveries to play in cricket.

A perfectly-executed yorker is pitched at the shoes of the batsman, giving them little or no time to hit a shot after delivery. It is generally, but not necessarily, bowled by fast bowlers as a variation in their natural deliveries. 

Oxford dictionary attributes the origin of the term ‘yorker’ to players using this particular bowling action in York. Other origin theories attribute the meaning to the other meaning of yorker: cheater.

Around the 20th century, the word ‘york’ apparently meant sharp, or quick-witted. This then evolved over time to mean cheat. 

The essence of a yorker is in how the bowler drives their shoulder (i.e., put more power through it when releasing), and where they aim it.

Perfectly delivered yorkers not only trap the batsman, but it also doesn’t allow the batsman to go in for a shot. 


What is a Googly? 

The primary purpose of a spin ball is to bring up a ball from the bounce at an angle or curve that is difficult to anticipate by the batsman. A googly is mostly bowled by a leg spin (or leg-break bowler).

The typical leg-spin delivery spins away from the batsman after being pitched.

However, a googly is a ball that is disguised as a leg spin, but after the pitch, it spins in the opposite direction to that which it was expected, as an off-spin/break. 

The man to be credited as the first to bowl a ‘googly’ was Bernard James Tindal Bosanquet. In its initial years of usage in cricket, this specific bowling style was also referred to as a ‘Bosie’ in reference to Bosanquet. 

To a right-handed batsman, googly, disguised as a leg-spin, spins towards the batsman and the stumps, rather than away from them. Due to this elusive nature, a googly is not very common.

Instead, it is used as a surprise-moment delivery to catch out, stump or even bowl out the batsman. 


Main Differences Between Yorker and Googly 

1. A yorker is bowled in such a way that the bounce of the ball is at or near the batsman’s popping crease, near the bat or feet. In contrast, a googly is delivered at a normal length. The point of bounce is adjusted by the bowler according to their spin. 
2. Yorkers are pace ball variations that are intended to give the least amount of preparation time to a batsman for hitting a shot. Googly is intended as a deceptive delivery to confuse the batsman regarding the bowler’s stock deliveries. 
3. Yorkers are variations of pace balls and are hence delivered by pacers and medium pacers, whereas googly is like a secret weapon for leg-spinners as a spin variation. 
4. A yorker is meant to deceive the batsman, and if bowled with extra pace, may even hurt the bat or the player. This makes it an extremely difficult delivery to play. On the other hand, even though it is also a deceptive delivery, a googly may give the batsman preparation time if it is accepted or short length. 
5. What actually makes googly deceptive is that it is bowled with the same leg-spin grip as the stock ball. A yorker is achieved by variation in the length of delivery. 

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6Vu9cih3u1kC&oi=fnd&pg=PT3&dq=yorker+and+googly&ots=KtwZDWosmQ&sig=nGCWOr0spd0yraGhgG3wniT-Veg
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1243/17543371JSET77
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