Broad insists no bad blood with Root after he was dropped for Windies tour

By Sports Desk June 06, 2022

Stuart Broad labelled Joe Root as "a legend of the game" as he insisted he could never fall out with the former England Test captain over being dropped.

Broad and James Anderson were surprise omissions from the tour of West Indies in March, which ended in 1-0 series defeat and proved to be the final straw for skipper Root.

Root subsequently stepped down after one win in his 17 Tests, with Ben Stokes taking the captaincy and Brendon McCullum appointed as the new red-ball head coach.

Broad and Anderson were reinstated for the opening Test against New Zealand, which England won by five wickets thanks to Root's magnificent unbeaten 115.

The evergreen Broad claimed match figures of 4-121, including a remarkable spell on the third day that saw him remove centurion Daryl Mitchell and Kyle Jamieson in the space of three balls, with Colin de Grandhomme run out in between.

Broad says there was never any bad blood between him and the former skipper, who reached the 10,000 Test runs landmark when he brought up his century on Sunday.

"Joe and I spoke at length when he stood down as captain and I said to him how much he's meant to me as a captain, and what a privilege it was playing under him," Broad said.

"I told him I hope he really enjoys the next few years, all that pressure has gone now, he's already a legend of the game, so he can just go out there and enjoy it.

"Joe and I are great friends and I've always been someone who can distinguish between business and pleasure. I can't fall out with someone because they don't pick me in a team, that would be a bit pathetic."

Broad is enjoying the start of a new era for England as they prepare for a second Test at his home ground Trent Bridge, which starts on Friday.

"It's been one of the most fun weeks we've had as a team," he added. "Just the relaxed environment, the way we're talking as a team. It's not too structured, it's just a case of what do you need to do to make you feel you're 10-foot tall?

"It's noticeable from Stokesy and Baz [McCullum] that it's all about taking wickets. To start the Stokes-McCullum era with a win is huge for us. To chase 277 is awesome for us as a group.

"To see the way we've attacked that target shows that mindset. Things went our way – that no-ball makes it a different game – but it's no mean feat chasing a score like that. That's a mindset thing.

"I don't think anyone who has come to Lord's can argue it's not been fun, the style of cricket, edge-of-the-seat at times, the crowd has got involved and it's something we want to take to Trent Bridge."

Broad believes having a different outlook is what stood him and Anderson in good stead ahead of their return to the Test side.

"I've changed my mindset over the winter and since Hobart," he continued. "It's not looking too far ahead, it's just enjoying each week for what it is, give everything, and then reset for the next week.

"Jimmy turns 40 this year, four years ago was he thinking 2018 might be his last at Old Trafford? Probably not. That just takes your mind away from enjoying the week.

"I started this season not knowing if I'd pull on the England shirt again, I was just enjoying every day for what it was.

"I wear the Notts shirt with the same pride as the England badge and I'll attack this week with the same mindset: walk out on that first day, look around the stands, and know how lucky I am to be there."

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