What a ball!

What a ball!

A brilliant, brutal, and game changing ball.

Whatever doubts punters had as to the ability of the Aussies to win this Ashes series they were quickly eliminated with one ball bowled by Mitchell Starc late Saturday afternoon.

Watching that ball smash into Joe Root’s helmet was both frightening and sickening, and like many observers I was stunned by the brutality of that ball. Joe Root showed incredible courage and poise after he was struck by the ball but the damage was done.

Root experienced a moment in sport when basic instincts have to take over, even if those resultant actions meant pain and possible injury to him but it was the only choice he had in that situation. Within his repertoire of stroke selection of playing that specific ball he had none, his ability left him and his survival instincts had to take over.

Psychologically, the damage perpetrated by Starc’s delivery will have a profound affect on the England team if it hasn’t done so already. As captain, Root was stoic with his response to his blow but in the clubroom his team mates must have felt a sickening feeling overcoming their mindset, their hearts pounding in their mouths knowing they too will have to face the music from Aussie quicks.

I wonder if some of the less experienced English cricketers have the ticker and the mental capacity to meet those challenges.

Right now, with that one ball from Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith has more than one reason to smile.

About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Good point Colin it certainly would have created plenty of mental demons

  2. The pain threshold of cricketers is interesting.

    Cam Bancroft on debut has not flinched when struck. Fielding at short leg he had a ball pulled into his shoulder.No rubbing, no grimacing, back to position,. Then whilst batting in his second innings, Jimmy Anderson on follow through, threw the ball at him, striking him near that most private of parts. Again no grimacing, no rubbing, on with the game.

    In the health field the contemporary word for this sort of immunity to pain, physical/mental is resilience.

    Cam Bancroft is resilient.


  3. Brett BD Dutschke says

    Yes, pain thresholds and the reaction and behaviour when threshold comes close. No one wants to be a dry baby.

    Stoicness or resilience of a captain is expected but that coming from a new player such as Bancroft can be more contagious.

  4. Brett BD Dutschke says

    Whoops. I meant cry baby.

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