trial by pace

England are currently being discomfited by it and India are about to be confronted by a batsman's greatest challenge: the trial by pace. It's a challenge that most dread and very few relish.

When umpire Max O'Connell once warned Australian fast bowler Lennie Pascoe at Adelaide Oval: "That'll be enough bouncers for this over, Len," a voice piped up from the other end: "Don't stop him, Max." That intimidating response put West Indies master blaster Viv Richards in the minority. He relished pace, never wore a helmet or took a serious blow to the noggin, and was, in the words of Pakistan's revered allrounder Imran Khan, "an intimidating batsman".