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England v West Indies

Holding: England should always pick Broad over Anderson away from home

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Speaking on Sky Sports Cricket, former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding said that Stuart Broad should be ahead of James Anderson in the England pecking order, wherever in the world they happen to be playing.

Anderson and Broad occupy the top two position in England’s leading Test wicket-takers charts, and the former has the superior overall record. The Lancastrian has 587 Test wickets at 26.87 to his name compared to Broad’s 485 wickets at 28.50 before this Test.

Broad was left out of the England side for the first Test of the series, at the Ageas Bowl, with England opting for Anderson alongside the quicker options offered by Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, with Broad describing himself as “angry” and “frustrated” at his omission. With six of the 14 West Indies wickets to fall to his name in the second Test at the time of writing, Broad emphatically backed up his words, and Holding explained that he felt Broad should never be left out in Test cricket.

“I think we’re seeing why I said, from the very first Test match, that I would never leave Stuart Broad out of this England team,” Holding said. “When this man gets on a roll, he’s fantastic. As we saw with the second new ball yesterday, you are seeing again here today. How can you leave Stuart Broad out of an England team? I can’t see that. We’re talking about playing here in England, but even away from home, I’m going to pick him ahead of Jimmy Anderson away from home. I’m not going to leave Stuart Broad out of any team.”

Much of the talk about Broad also involves Anderson, with England not wanting to have to fill the voids left by both simultaneously, and hoping to plan for who succeeds them while both are still playing. However, Nasser Hussain backed up Broad’s point, speaking after play last night, that he might have a lot longer left in his career than Anderson does.

“Broad made an interesting point last night,” Hussain said. “Stuart said, ‘Everyone keeps putting me in the same bracket as Jimmy Anderson.’ They’re four years apart. You get bracketed with people of a similar age, and because Broad and Anderson have bowled so much together they’re put together, but one’s 34 and one’s nearly 38, and Stuart said last night on interview, ‘At the same stage that Jimmy was my age, he’s got 130 Test wickets since then. So why can’t I get another 130? Why is it always ‘Broad and Anderson. We’re going to have to split up Broad and Anderson, we’ve got to make sure they don’t go out together.’ Stuart Broad’s probably got a little bit longer left in him.”

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