James Anderson says that his team-mate Stuart Broad could go yet on to outstrip his own England-record wicket tally, as he stood on the verge of changing into the fourth seam bowler in history to succeed in 500 Test wickets on the last day against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford.
Broad went into the last morning of the match on 499 Test wickets, but was once thwarted in his initial burst before rain forced the players from the field after 25 minutes of play. He has already claimed eight wickets in a significant personal performance, which also featured a 33-ball half-century in England’s first innings, and followed on from six imperative wickets in the series-levelling win at the same ground final week.
“The way Stuart’s bowled in the final two games has been absolutely phenomenal and an absolute credit to himself and the work he is put in over the previous few years,” Anderson told Sky Sports before the start of play.
“He is now getting the ball to shape absent again. We’ve seen how deadly he’s with that wobble seam that nips back and hits batsmen on the pads. It’s fantastic to watch and a real inspiration, not just for the more youthful members of the team but for me, seeing someone like Stuart work as tough as he has, and handle the things that he is had to handle over the previous few years.”
Broad is currently the leading wicket-taker in the series with 14 wickets, despite being controversially omitted from the first Test at the Ageas Bowl. All over that match, he expressed his anger at being overlooked despite being England’s best bowler in both the Ashes final summer and the tour of South Africa in December and January, and Anderson was once impressed with the manner in which he’d backed up his words with deeds.
“Obviously he was once disappointed at Southampton,” he said, “but just seeing the way he dealt with that, he is come back and got picked in the second one Test match, and from there he just gave the impression of he had a real point to prove, and I think he has proved it.”
Anderson has now played alongside Broad in 117 of his 140 Tests, and is himself 11 wickets absent from fitting the first fast bowler to succeed in 600 in Tests. And with their contrasting methods – swing as opposed to seam, skid as opposed to height – they have got now claimed a combined complete of 893 Test wickets on the occasions they have got lead the line for England since 2008.
Asked whether there were any parts of Broad’s game that Anderson would want to take for his own, he replied: “I somewhat like to be six foot six. That’d be a nice addition to what I’ve got. But to be sincere I’m at all times amazed at how he gets on a spell and just blows people absent.
“He got three wickets in 14 balls in the first innings, and his six-for. He just gets on a roll and I don’t feel like I’ve got that in my game. Whether I am getting a five-for, it kind of feels to take me a couple of days to receive it.”
“But to be sincere, I do not believe either of us is that fussed approximately the actual wickets tally. What we enjoy doing is winning games of cricket and celebrating those moments together.
“We love bowling together in Test matches as polite, we have a truly good understanding and we bowl polite when the other guy bowling is at the other end, we seem to realize what every other is making an attempt to do. We enjoy playing cricket for England and winning games of cricket for England, and the wickets will handle themselves.”
Nevertheless, while Broad has regularly been thought to be the junior partner in their alliance, and not just with regards to their four-year age hole, Anderson was once self-assured his team-mate has the drive, the fitness and determination to retain leading the line for England for several seasons to come.
“There is a very good chance that he will get more wickets to me whether he carries on like this,” Anderson said. “I heard him say the other day, why can’t he carry on until he is my age and that is the reason absolutely true. He is in great shape.
“He is working so tough on his game and whenever he gets the possibility to play, as we saw in South Africa and against Australia final year, he leads the attack brilliantly. He can go on and get as many wickets as he wants.”