Eletiofe'Jimmy is my idol': Broad says he is improving...

‘Jimmy is my idol’: Broad says he is improving with age like Anderson


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Stuart Broad plans to follow his “idol” Jimmy Anderson by ploughing on in Test cricket for some time yet, after he burst through the 500-wicket barrier as the driving force behind England’s 2-1 series victory against West Indies.

Broad had questioned where his career was going after the 34-year-old was left out of the first Test in Southampton. But by the end of a second convincing win for Joe Root’s side in Manchester – a 269-run victory sealed with his 10th victim of the match – such thoughts had dissipated and with good reason.

By scorching 16 wickets at 11 runs apiece across his two Tests Broad convinced himself more golden years lie ahead; having become the seventh man to pass 500 Test wickets by removing Kraigg Brathwaite – the same batsman when Anderson passed the milestone three years ago – the template for doing so is obvious.

Broad said: “A couple of weeks ago I was in a bit of a thinking place. I thought: ‘Where am I going here?’ But I’m glad I stayed strong because I’m very happy two weeks later. To get to 500 is a special feeling.

“You always hear ex-sportsmen saying they knew when it was time to go, they lost that feeling. Well, I’ve still got it in abundance. I’m someone who looks pretty short-term but at the moment I feel fresh, I feel fit.

“Jimmy is my idol on that. He turns 38 soon and he’s someone who I have watched very closely, a great friend of mine for many years. Over the last few years, he has maintained himself and kept upskilling himself to be able to not only compete but get better at this level.

“If you look at both of our records over the last few years, we are actually improving. Compare my last 18 months to my career record and it’s way better, which is always a great sign.”

Broad, who nudged out Ben Stokes as man of the series despite the all-rounder’s 363 runs at 90 with the bat and nine wickets, was keen that Chris Woakes keep the match ball after West Indies were bowled out for 129 in 37.1 overs chasing 399 on a rain-affected final day.

Woakes had picked up his fourth Test five-wicket haul with figures of five for 50 to show the depth England have in the seam department at home. Had Stokes not been unable to bowl in this match because of a thigh injury, he or Jofra Archer would likely not have played.

Root, whose players now spend a few days home before returning to Manchester for the first Test against Pakistan starting next Wednesday, was asked if he will stick with the same attack, even if Stokes is fully fit once more. The captain replied: “It’s definitely on the table isn’t it? It’s hard to leave anyone out.

“Long may those headaches continue. I think, for now it’s important that everyone just goes away, has some time away from cricket, away from this bubble not thinking about things for a couple of days.

“It’s shown character to come back from 1-0 down and we’ve not wavered from how we want to play. We’re looking to start better than here and buck that trend, that’s a big challenge for us come the Pakistan series.”

On Broad’s desire to keep going, Root said: “I really hope that’s the case. As I said about Stokes last week, we’ve got to realise how lucky we are to be in the presence of these guys, time and time again putting in brilliant performances.”

Just three seamers sit ahead of Broad’s 501 Test wickets on the all-time list, with Anderson 11 short of 600, Australia’s Glenn McGrath finishing on 563 and Courtney Walsh, who congratulated him on Twitter, on 519.

Asked if another seamer may join them one day, Broad replied: “Someone is going to have to play a lot of cricket because there is a lot of competition out there with different T20 leagues. I think there’s talk of thinning the amount of Tests we play in a summer down, too.

“You need a lot of Test matches to get 500 wickets. I think there’ll be people who have the talent to get the numbers but whether they’ll be able to play the amount of Test cricket the seam bowlers have done to get that feat remains to be seen.”

On the possibility of even surpassing Anderson’s final tally one day, Broad replied: “If I keep bowling the way I am for the next few years then I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

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