Originally Posted by Monk
The change in a batsman's psyche (at international level) since helmets have become common has been massive. Guys like McCosker, going out to face Holding, Garner and Roberts without a helmet, were under serious threat of death. The same applies to Bradman etc in bodyline series. Nowadays, batsmen can take a lot more liberties than they did prior to the 1980s, since the very real threat of death while batting has been (mostly) removed from cricket.
A guy like Langer, who seemed to get hit flush in the helmet a couple of times each series, would have been killed in the 70s.
Holding bowling to Brian Close on the "Fire in Babylon" DVD (after Greig made his "grovel" comment) is some of the most calculated and chilling cricket footage. FMD that looks quick, and flat out frightening.
Marshall and Ambrose played all of their careers in the helmet era while half of Holding's career was after WSC as well, they all were still feared and made no less effective after helmets were common place.
Plus Marshall aimed for the ribs and throat anyway