England v West Indies Tests - Men's
Broad joins Anderson in 500 Test wicket club
As Stuart Broad becomes just the fourth fast bowler to reach the milestone, Jimmy Anderson says his all-time pace Test wickets record is in danger
28 July 2020, 08:14 PM AEST
Stuart Broad has become just the second English bowler to take 500 Test wickets and the other one, Jimmy Anderson, believes his long-time new-ball partner could one day overtake him.
Broad trapped Kraigg Brathwaite lbw on the final day of the Test series against West Indies at Old Trafford to reach the milestone. Coincidentally, Brathwaite was also Anderson's 500th victim in 2017.
"How funny, that stat of Jimmy (Anderson) and I with Brathwaite," Broad said after England had completed a 2-1 series win.
"He said to me, 'You know who it's going to be, don't you?' That'll be a quiz question in a few years."
With crowds barred from attending the series due to bio-security provisions, Broad was fortunate to have his father – former Test opener Chris turned match referee – present to witness the milestone.
The 34-year-old is just the fourth fast bowler to achieve the feat. Anderson (589 wickets) is the most prolific paceman of all-time, followed by Glenn McGrath (563) and Courtney Walsh (519).
Spin trio Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) top the overall list.
Contentiously left out of the hosts' XI for the first Test against West Indies, Broad has thundered back into Test cricket by taking six wickets in England's second-Test victory before following on with a first-innings haul of 6-31 in the third Test.
Congratulations @StuartBroad8 on 500 Test wickets. Always a tough competitor and a very skillful bowler especially in English conditions. #ENGvWI— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) July 28, 2020
He had second-innings figures of 3-27 after notching his 500th wicket, and later claimed the final wicket of the series when he had Jermaine Blackwood caught behind to seal the series win and give Broad a 10-wicket haul for the match, his first since 2013.
"You want performances to lead to wins so to get to 500 on a day that we won a test match and a series feels very special," Broad said.
"I feel so fresh and excited to play the game and I've done some technical work that makes me feel in great rhythm.
Anderson told Sky Sports before play on Tuesday he had nothing but admiration for his teammate and although he insisted both bowlers prioritised team success over individual honours, the veteran believes Broad (three years his junior) could go past him.
"The wickets will take care of themselves and there's a very good chance he will take more wickets than me if he carries on like this," said Anderson.
"I heard him say the other day, why can't he carry on until he's my age (37), and that's absolutely true. He's in great shape.
"He could go on and get as many wickets as he wants."
After a lean period - by his standards - that included a 2017-18 Ashes campaign that yielded just 11 wickets at 48, Broad has bowled a noticeably fuller length and prospered.
Since the start of 2018, Stuart Broad's average length is 6.9m from the batsman's stumps. In that time, there have been 33 seamers to bowl 1000+ balls in Test cricket - only four of them (Ishant Sharma, Colin de Grandhomme, Sam Curran, Jason Holder) have been fuller.#ENGvWI— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) July 20, 2020
He tormented Australia's top order during last year's Ashes and then followed on with a superb tour of South Africa earlier this year, finishing as England's leading wicket taker in both series.
His axing for the first Test against the Windies earler this month therefore surprised many. David Warner, whom Broad removed seven times in five Tests last year, jokingly said on Tuesday he hoped England would do the same the next time Australia play in England.
Anderson said Broad used the snub as motivation.
"Obviously he was disappointed at Southampton but I just think the way he dealt with that and come back … he just looked like he had a real point to prove," said Anderson.
"And I think he had proved that.
"The way Stuart has bowled the last two games has been absolutely pheromonal. It's an absolute credit to himself, the work he's done over the last few years.
"He's now getting the ball to shape away again, we've seen how lethal he is with that wobble-seam (delivery) that nips back and hits you on the pads.
"(It is) incredible to watch and a real inspiration, not just for younger members of the team but for someone like me, seeing someone like Stuart deal with the things he has over the last few years."
Warner too said the fuller length Broad has bowled in recent years has been the key to his resurgence.
"I don't know what was the reasoning behind leaving him out of that first Test, but obviously he's come back and taken a few wickets," said Warner.
"Personally, I think he's a world class bowler and the last 18 months he's really worked hard on pitching the ball up.
"When I look back on the stats it is probably the first time in his career, he's actually pitched the ball up in that five to six metres area (in front of the batter) the bowlers talk about quite a lot.
"He's got a hell of a record against left-handers as well, and I think the capability of him bringing the ball back off the wicket into the left-handers has been another string to his bow.
"Bowlers do tend to talk about not meaning to do that off the seam, but if you keep producing the right seam consistently enough, you're going to get that sideways movement both ways and he's been able to get that.
"It's not by fluke that he's had success the past 18 months, he's worked really hard to get to where he is and credit to him."
Broad's former captain, Michael Vaughan, paid tribute to the bowler who debuted under him in Colombo in 2007 where he returned unflattering match figures of 1-95.
"He knew what he wanted to achieve as a 21-year-old but never in my wildest dreams did I think he would take 500 Test wickets," Vaughan wrote in the UK Telegraph newspaper.
"He can go on. When you are bowling as well as he is now and you have this level of energy then why walk away?
"What has impressed me in this series is his pace. He has had it up to 85mph (137kph) which is important for his style of bowling."