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Opinion

The magnificent Stuart Broad-James Anderson pair

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30th July, 2020
22

There are some batsmen in cricket who are famous because of their batting partnerships, but no one notices any bowling partners.

So I am going to talk about one of the best bowling partners in the world.

The Stuart Broad-James Anderson is the most lethal pair in Test cricket. After playing together with over a decade, both understand each other’s game. One is the player who uses his swing, especially late swing to destroy a batsman’s mind, and other’s pace and bounce is enough to dismantle opposition.

The duo has been England’s spearhead in Tests for over a decade now and sharing almost 1100 Test scalps between them. 907 wickets are taken by Anderson (475) and Broad (432) in the 117 Tests they have played together, the most by a fast-bowling pair.

If we consider all bowling pairs, only one has taken more wickets playing together – Glenn McGrath (488) and Shane Warne (513) picked up 1001 wickets in 104 Tests. This puts extra pressure on the opposition when they play together in a Test match.

A deadly combination in home conditions
I don’t think that there is any bowling combination better than them under home conditions. They don’t need any extra pace from wickets to get them motivated but use unlimited swing available in the home pitches.

David Warner, Australia’s opening batsman, regarded them as the best exponent of swing and seam bowling.

“They’re both not express pace and to take 900 wickets between them as a pair when playing together is exceptional,” he said.

“When you’re up against them you’ve always got to try to think of ways to rotate strike. Otherwise, if you give them too many overs at you, they’re going to get you out.”

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Anderson and Broad have picked 694 wickets together at home, again the most by a fast bowling pair in history. Anderson also holds the record of the only pacer to take 100 wickets in a single venue. He has taken 103 wickets at Lord’s and Broad is just after him with 94 wickets at the same venue.

Jimmy Anderson

(Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Future of the duo
Currently, Broad is in the tremendous form which was seen in the last Test match against West Indies, where he picked ten wickets in a match and awarded player of the match as well as player of the series.

Broad was dropped for Mark Wood in the first match in this series, which left him furious and frustrated. His frustration was seen in the series as we saw the new version of Broad and he picked 16 wickets in two matches.

Before this series, there were some talks about the future of the duo and whether it’s time to move on from this pair. After the spectacular 6-31 in the first innings of the third Test, Broad shut down the debate that he and his mate Anderson would retire.

“I don’t ever walk on the field with him and wonder if this is the last time we’ll play together because both of us have a burning desire to keep going,” Broad said.

“I certainly get the feeling when one of us goes, each other will be one of the first people to know. But there’s been no talk of that”.

“Jimmy’s record is getting better and better, as is mine.”

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Joe Root also believes that Broad and Anderson are still the best bowlers for England in Tests and wants to play with them in the future.

Both, especially Broad, had a key role in the Wisden Trophy win where he gave England the upper hand with the crucial wickets at a crucial time.

Broad has now joined the elite club of 500 wickets and is the seventh bowler to do so. And Anderson is just 11 wickets away to become the first fast bowler to get 600 Test wickets, which is a big achievement.

Anderson is just turned 38 and is four years older than Broad but still has a burning desire in him and Broad also wants to play until the former’s age, so I don’t see them leaving their responsibilities in the near future.