Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning: More opportunities for Joe Root to assess his England attack

Joe Root
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JOE ROOT is looking forward to facing the second half of his new-ball Test attack, having already got the better of Stuart Broad en route to his highest one-day score for Yorkshire.

Root scored an unbeaten 75 against Notts at Trent Bridge on Saturday when he withstood everything that Broad could throw at him as Yorkshire opened their Royal London Cup campaign with a seven-wicket win.

Now Root is set to go head-to-head with James Anderson today when Lancashire visit Headingley in the 50-over competition, closely followed by the prospect of facing another of his Test pace bowlers, Mark Wood, when Durham visit Leeds on Wednesday in Root’s final game before the international season.

Broad bowled 22 balls at the England captain and tried to unsettle him with typically competitive antics and aggression, but Root had the better of their duel as he took Broad for two boundaries during the bowler’s return of 1-25 from six overs.

“I think Stuart was just trying to create a bit of theatre with the position that the game was in, trying to create something to make it a little bit more uncomfortable for us,” said Root. “To be honest, it’s hard to take him seriously when you’re so used to playing on the same side, but it was good fun nonetheless.

“He bowled very well and with good pace, and it’s good to see him back playing and enjoying county cricket. Now there’s another grumpy fast bowler to face when we play Lancashire, which I’m really looking forward to, followed by another slightly different kind of character and fast bowler on Wednesday.”

Neither Anderson nor Wood would relish bowling at Root should he maintain the form he displayed at Nottingham.

Root was at the heart of a fine all-round display, which he believes has helped Yorkshire put down an early marker.

“I thought we were very clinical throughout the whole day,” said Root. “We set the tone straight away when the seamers did a great job, and then we continued to take wickets through the middle period, which these days seems to be quite a difficult thing to do in one-day cricket.

“It was then just about being ruthless and seeing it through with the bat. Thankfully, I had a good partnership with Peter (Handscomb), and we were able to break the back of the run-chase.”

Root hit the winning six off his brother, Billy, which he admitted felt “awful”.

“It’s such a horrible situation to be in,” he said. “Obviously, I’m desperate for him to do well and for him to get settled in the (Notts) side, but you have to be professional at the end of the day and get the job done.

“There was a slight feeling of guilt towards the end there, but that’s professional sport.

“I’m sure he’d have done exactly the same if I’d come on to bowl against him.”

Going home: ICC Trophy-winning captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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