Thursday, 9 July 2009

Slow death

The currency of the slower ball has shifted; it's not been particularly devalued by all those power play and death overs, but it's become a common thing. It's a bit like the yorker in that respect, it's reinvented itself as a restraining measure.

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.


Brit said...

Yes, in shorter forms of cricket there are some bowlers who bowl whole overs of slower balls. In which case they are, I suppose, just 'balls'.

Krish said...

I remember one of the Indian bowlers, Venkatesh Prasad, bowling only slow balls and then bowling one of them fast.

Just saw an old clip of Healy deceived by an Ambrose slow ball. Healy was amused and Ambrose couldn't believe his luck.