Speaking on Sky Sports Cricket, James Anderson said that he feels his long-time England Test new-ball partner Stuart Broad can “get as many wickets as he wants”.
Anderson is currently England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, and also sits top of the worldwide list among seam bowlers. However, in second place on the former list and fourth on the latter is Broad, who is almost four years younger than Anderson and only 89 wickets off his 589 Test scalps. He claimed his 500th Test wicket on the fifth morning of England’s third Test against West Indies at Manchester.
Broad recently pointed out that Anderson has claimed 130 wickets since he was the age that Broad is now. Should the younger man be similarly prolific in the latter stages of his career, he would overtake his senior partner.
“There’s a very good chance he’ll take more wickets than me if he carries on like this,” Anderson said. “I’ve heard him say the other day, ‘Why can’t he carry on until he’s my age?’ And that’s absolutely true, he’s in great shape. He’s working so hard on his game. And whenever he gets the opportunity to play, we saw in South Africa, against Australia last year, he leads the attack brilliantly. He could go on and get as many wickets as he was.”
However, Anderson suggested that the head-to-head between the pair wasn’t something either thought much about.
“To be honest, I don’t think either of us are that fussed about the actual wickets tally,” he said. “What we enjoy doing is winning games of cricket and celebrating those moments together as well. We’ve got a really good understanding and we bowl well when the other guy’s bowling at the other end. We seem to know what the other’s going to do. I think that’s what we enjoy the most, we enjoy playing games of cricket for England and winning games of cricket for England. The wickets will take care of themselves.”
While most rated Anderson as England’s greatest-ever fast bowler, he marvelled at Broad’s ability to change a game in a single spell. “To be honest, I’m always amazed by how he just gets on a spell and blows people away,” he said. “I think he got three in 14 balls for not many runs in the first innings. He just gets on a roll and I don’t feel like I’ve got that in my game. If I get a five-for then it’s taken me a few days to get it.”