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Can't see another fast bowler matching: Broad heaps praise on Anderson

Source: ANI
March 10, 2024 18:00 IST
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IMAGE: James Anderson bagged his 700th Test wicket during the 5th India vs England Test in Dharamsala. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Anderson etched his name in history books on Saturday, becoming the first-ever pacer in the history of the sport to complete 700 wickets in Test cricket and overall only the third bowler to do so.


The ageless English pace wonder, who will be turning 42 this July, achieved this milestone during India's fifth and final Test against England in Dharamsala, getting wickets of Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav.

In his column for Daily Mail, Broad was quoted as saying that he could not see any other pacer matching Anderson's record. He also talked about the 41-year-old's skill to take wickets of some of the best in the world in different conditions is worth marvelling at.

"It is a phenomenal achievement and not one I can see another fast bowler matching.

“When people talk about Jimmy, they mention the dedication and the mental resilience to keep driving forward, and obviously, you do not play until you are 41 without that but this is now the time we should just marvel at his skill, really, because that is what it has taken to get that many wickets in different conditions, challenging the best batters in the world for more than 20 years," said Broad.

"It is a shame in a way that he will not be able to remember joining the elite company of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan for slightly better reasons in the sense that his moment came in a bit of a thumping at the end of a long tour for England," he added.

Broad was all praises for his close friend, expressing wonder at his desire for self-improvement at an age where most fast bowlers hang up their boots.

"He has found ways to deliver at the top level and is still trying to get better, which is extraordinary when you think about it," said the English pace legend, who has 604 wickets for England in Tests.

Broad said that somewhere in his mind, he was selfishly hoping to see Anderson take his 700th wicket during the English Test summer this year from July onwards, against West Indies and Sri Lanka so that he could congratulate him in person.

"Selfishly, part of me was hoping he'd be on 699 coming back to Lord's this summer and that I could be there to witness it with so many other England fans.

“Given our close working relationship over the years, I would have loved to be one of the 10 guys walking off behind him, giving him a clap," said Broad.

Broad also raised question that with the English icon set to turn 42 this year, how long will he go on as a Test bowler.

The former pacer said that he does not have an idea since "Jimmy's an addict" who is so much invested in the game. He also quipped that the idea of playing cricket is so much ingrained in Anderson that he might retire at 65 years, the traditional retirement age in UK.

Broad wondered if Anderson now has his eyes set on Muralitharan's all-time high Test wicket tally of 800 and play the next Ashes series.

"It is a question (Anderson's retirement) people will naturally ask but I honestly have no idea. Jimmy's an addict, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

“He is so invested in cricket. Someone who will feel very emotional when he eventually finishes," said Broad.

"It is all he has known. And I think even when he chooses his moment, he will still find it very hard to walk away. It is so ingrained in him that he sometimes gives the impression that he wants to retire at the traditional UK age of 65."

"What he will be thinking of is a new target. Does he aim to get to 800 and match Murali? Is he looking to get past Warne's 708?

“He will know when the time is right to go, and only he can make that call. Is it possible that he would play in the next Ashes away?," he concluded his point.

Broad said that captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum would like him to go strong for next 18-24 months with Ashes in Australia in mind, but Anderson will be 43 by then and probably not looking that far ahead.

He also said that England might consider the next Test summer at home as a "research period" and have younger talent like Josh Tongue, Ollie Robinson and Gus Atkinson play more games.

"Yes. Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes would want him to go on for the next 18- 24 months, but he will be 43 then and I do not necessarily think he will be looking that far ahead," said Anderson.

"Playing in Australia is a tough, physical ask. As a seamer, you average 53 overs a Test match in searing heat and although I would not write him off, there were a few question marks over him in the Ashes last summer in England."

"In India, he has bowled economically, without taking loads of wickets and his future may be as much about who else comes through.

“This summer appears to be the right time to have further looks at Josh Tongue and Gus Atkinson and find out a bit more about Ollie Robinson.



"Under McCullum and Stokes, England have picked their best XI every single match, but maybe series versus West Indies and Sri Lanka represent more of a research period," he concluded.

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Source: ANI

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