Euro 2020 Special

Anderson and Broad set record partnership

The England fast bowling pair of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad have become the most successful bowling partnership in the history of test cricket. The record had previously been held by the Australian duo of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, who, in the 104 tests that they played together, claimed 1001 victims.

However, Anderson and Broad having previously equalled the record with four wickets between them in the first innings of the first test against New Zealand in Tauranga, then moved passed it, as Broad produced a devastating spell at the start of the Kiwi’s second innings.

They finished the day’s play with 1,005 wickets between them, and the prospect of more to come in what remains of this match, and the second test to come.

With both men also likely to feature in the Ashes this summer at least, the pair look set to push the record to new levels.


It began in New Zealand

It is perhaps fitting that they set the record in New Zealand, because that was where their test partnership began, 15 years ago, in Wellington.

With England one down in the three match series, the decision, controversial at the time, was made to drop the experienced pair of Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard in favour of the duo. Anderson responded by taking five wickets, England won the match and the series, and the pair have seldom looked back since.


Jimmy Anderson

Jimmy Anderson is now 40, but has no immediate plans to retire from international cricket, and will keep going until the Ashes at least.  The most successful fast bowler in the history of test cricket, he has now taken 678 wickets in 178 tests.

Only two men have taken more wickets in the format, and they were both spinners – Muttiah Muralithran and Warne.


Stuart Broad

Broad is the younger of the pair by four years. Last year he overtook McGrath’s record to become the fifth most successful test bowler of all-time, and he is now only second to Anderson in terms of fast bowlers.

He now has 571 test scalps to his name, his tally enhanced by a four wicket burst that helped reduce New Zealand to 34/5 in their second innings.

The next target in his sight, are the 619 test wickets taken by Anil Kumble in his career. He may even conceivably catch Anderson before he retires, although his partner will be doing his best to put his own record out of sight.

It should also be remembered that Broad does have a test match hundred to his name as well, having made 169 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010.


Their record may never be broken

When the partnership finally comes to an end, it is difficult to see that their record will ever be broken.

In the first place, fast bowling is very taxing on the body and it is a testament to the fitness and longevity of both men that they are still able to play cricket at the highest level, even at an age when many of their contemporaries have long retired.

They have also chosen to concentrate on the test format, particularly Anderson.

He has not played a T20I since 2009, and his last ODI was nearly eight years ago. Broad himself last played T20I cricket in 2014, and the ODI format two years later. That has helped keep them fresh and ensured that they are not subject to the wear and tear of white ball cricket.

And then there is the fact that there is unlikely to be the same amount of test cricket played in the future.

Despite innovations such as the WTC (World Test Championship), the format still struggles for relevance in some countries, and, outside of the major heartlands such as England and Australia, has a problem filling grounds.

People do not have time to spend up to five days watching a game that may just end in a draw. White ball cricket, particularly the T20I format, is far more appealing to a younger generation of fans, because of its immediacy, and the way that it is marketed and promoted.

Anderson and Broad may be the last of a generation, but that does not diminish their achievement.




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