As a standalone moment, James Anderson cleaning up Joe Root’s stumps was good but in the wake of the recent cloud over them, prompted by the interpretation of certain comments from both, this was one special moment. So much so that Stuart Broad was moved to tweet: “Oh my reverse swing” with two smileys attached.
First the ball: Pretty full in length, it curved in from outside off, drew Root forward into a defensive prod but somehow still managed to find a way to breach the defences, and clatter into the stumps. The ball itself is worth a few replays to savour.
The background: Root and the selectors didn’t choose Anderson and Broad for the tour of West Indies and that upset the bowlers. Both talked about how they just got a five-minute call that informed them they won’t be part of the tour, without any reference to their future. Broad went on to write a column or two; Anderson talked about it in podcasts and it might have ended there but one more quote arrived from Root.
James Anderson bowls Joe Root 👀
— LV= Insurance County Championship (@CountyChamp) May 15, 2022
In the wake of the defeat to the West Indies, Root said that there was a “big improvement in attitude” within the team. That led the English media back to the two fast bowlers, and Anderson had a crack.
“”I don’t think I’m extremely stubborn. I will take advice and feedback from people. You’d have to ask Joe what he meant by that,” Anderson said.
“The deeper Joe Root has got into the captaincy the harder it’s been to be as matey as we probably were,” James Anderson had said in a BBC Podcast Tailenders last month. ““But hopefully that’ll now be easier to get back on those matey terms.”
Not long after, England chose to replace Root with Ben Stokes as the captain. And couple of days back, they made Brendon McCullum as the coach.
It’s in this background that Anderson turned up for Lanchashire and knocked out the stumps of Root, playing for Yorkshire.