Many people find it hard to like Stuart Broad, the person. To like Stuart Broad, the bowler—when he is on song—is easy.
When he's pitching the ball up and a little bit fuller, running in fast and bowling fast, Broad is very easy to like as a player.
Broad's performance on Monday was outstanding and he managed to take his career-best figures as Australia collapsed in a heap, going from 120-1 at tea to 224 all out by the end of the day.
Broad had a quiet series up until Durham. He looked off colour and wasn't quite the strike partner James Anderson needed. But that all changed for Broad at Chester-le-Street. With the crowd behind him and his tail up, he was a force to be reckoned with. He crossed the 200-wicket mark, getting there in 60 Tests in a career spanning just over five years.
Broad is having one of the best years of his career. In the nine Tests he's played this year, he's taken 40 wickets at an average of 24.32. Last year, he took 40 wickets in 11 Tests and managed 47 sticks in 14 Tests at an average of 28.36 in 2009.
With six Tests still left to play, Broad could very well finish 2013 with his best stats yet.
In terms of cricket seasons, this has been his best yet. Broad has 29 wickets at an average of 21.51 in six Tests—his lowest average. He took 33 wickets at 22.30 in the 2011 season but could very well surpass that tally with the final Ashes Test at the Oval still to come.
Broad described his inspired spell, where he sent off nine fiery overs for 22 runs and five wickets, as an "amazing" feeling—and why should he feel anything else? An amazing spell by a player who can be amazing at times.