But what really makes it work is scarcity. Ravi Bopara went to an old-school slower ball yesterday, one that seduced and then mugged him, one that fooled his senses. It's not good for the self-image that sort of failure, with your bat in the air, your guts lurching queasily.
Facing a good slower ball is a strange sensation because the realisation, like the ball, takes a split second longer to arrive, and it's a split second filled with confusion. The ball is there, you can see it, it's just not there yet. By the time the brain registers the fact, the body has reacted and run its race.
Being beaten in that way hits you hard, because you've been done, fooled, duped. There's not the consolation of being pinged out by a quick, straight one, of being worked over, of dying a man's death. You're just walking off with a note saying 'sucker' stuck to your back. Oh yeah, it hurts.