Watch: Joe Root unveiled a bouncer variation to Usman Khawaja which caught nearly everyone by surprise, with the moment causing plenty of mirth among both teams.
On the last ball before tea on day four of the fourth Ashes Test at Sydney, Root, nominally an off-spinner, got creative, sending down a deliberate short delivery that pitched well within his own half and ballooned over the back of the ducking Usman Khawaja.
Ollie Pope, acting as sub-keeper in the absence of Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, claimed an excellent if slightly ungainly take, while Khawaja saw the funny side, signalling one bouncer for the over. Root chuckled too as the teams walked off for the interval.
Root has dropped it short before in this series, clocked at 118.6kph in the second Test. He also unfurled the option during the T20 Blast, playing for Yorkshire Vikings against Leicestershire Foxes.
Khawaja would go on to make twin centuries in his first Test for nearly two and half years. But there was at least one moment of discomfort, even if it came from an unusual source.
Watch the Root bouncer to Khawaja below:
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 8, 2022