Broad needs to get into swing of things if he is to discover potential

By Mark Smith

England bowler Stuart Broad received his 100th cap when England took on world number one Test side India this week. The achievement comes nine years after his Test debut touring Sri Lanka in 2007.

After such a momentous achievement, it’s Broad’s time to take the limelight. Ever since he started for England, Broad has lived in the shadow of a quicker-paced partner such as James Anderson. Broad has the attributes to become England’s number one seamer and only two other bowlers have taken more wickets for England. Anderson is at the top of that tree, but Broad is only 23 wickets behind Ian Botham.

Anderson vs Broad

Bowling with the highest wicket taker in English cricket history is always hard, but Broad certainly holds his own when compared to Anderson. Four years younger than his partner, Broad will definitely be England’s go to bowler when the Anderson swing legacy ends.

Broad and Anderson have played 85 Test matches together, taking 659 wickets and have guided England to countless numbers of victories for their country. Yet, even though they have a formidable partnership, if stats were based on their average alone they would not even feature in the top 20 of all bowlers to take over 150 wickets. And in Tests, strike rate is what matters.

Broad Taking Over

Broad has had many memorable moments in an England shirt. Two hat-tricks in his career and the phenomenal career best figures of 8-15 against Australia in 2015 spring to mind immediately. Broad single-handedly dismantled the Aussie batting order before lunch in a spell which led to the shortest Test innings in history.

With four years on his partner Anderson, Broad definitely has the time to claim the number one English bowler. Broad said to the BBC: “I’m only 30 and it’s another game really. I’ve got a lot of things to achieve. I want to play for a lot more Test matches.”

Swing a Problem?

The English seamer stands at 6ft 5 and is known for bowling a fast, straight line at the stumps. This is brilliant when it pays off and has brought Broad a lot of success on home soil. But, when Anderson retires who is left to bowl an intense spell of swing? With other bowlers such as Broad, Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes all not known for swing, the next in line would be Mark Wood.

When English swing is mentioned, only one name comes up, James Anderson. To take his game to the next level Broad must make the ball swing both ways to create more trouble for batsmen around the world.

 

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