We old time base-ballers, refusing to be intimidated by hard-throwing pitchers, had a saying. “The faster they come in, the faster they go out.”
Actually, it was a sort of whistling past the graveyard psychological ploy, as getting hit by a baseball thrown in the 145 kilometre-per-hour range was a decidedly unpleasant prospect, something that made the already difficult task of hitting a baseball fairly and safely that much harder, as the time it took from the moment the ball left the pitcher’s hand until it arrived in the hitting zone was faster than human reaction time.
Cricket batsmen have no better bargain.
Fast bowlers such as England’s Tymal Mills, Australian quickie Shaun Tait, Windies’ paceman Fidel Edwards and several others regularly hitting speeds that well exceed even the fastest batsmen’s’ reaction times.
Cricketers have even less time to react, as the net distance from the bowlers’ release point to the popping crease is about a metre less than the distance from the pitchers’ rubber to the baseball-hitting zone.
The saving grace for cricket batsmen is that the ball typically bounces off the ground, which scrubs some speed and eliminates the sick curves of which professional baseball pitchers are capable.