Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad on the cusp of (more) pace history


During the forthcoming Ashes tour, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will become the first pace twins to feature in 100 Tests together – something no fast-bowling pair has achieved before in the history of Test cricket.

Anderson and Broad have 737 wickets together in their 96 Tests, offering a chance to become the most successful pace duo in history, overtaking Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh’s 762 wickets in their 95 Tests.Both pairs have a strike rate of 56.15, however, Ambrose-Walsh have an average of 22.68, while Anderson-Broad’s is 27.35.

What makes the Pommie pair click could be that Anderson is more skiddy and swings the ball prodigiously, whereas Broad uses bounce. Ambrose too used awkward bounce, while Walsh had a similar method with a different style.

Generally, fast bowling tandems are also friends off the field. The exception being maybe Waqar and Akram, but then Wasim said their dislike of each other made them want to out do the other.

But let’s have a more detailed look at the Anderson and Broad.

Anderson started his ODI career in 2002, when he was only 20, then played Test cricket a year later, taking five wickets in an innings in his first match. His debut was at Lord’s, which remains a happy hunting ground, picking up 90 wickets there – a record for any fast bowler at one venue. Anderson has taken five wickets in an innings at Lord’s five times, with only Ian Botham’s eight surpassing that stat.

Anderson is only one of six bowlers to take 500 Test wickets. He has five wickets in an innings 24 times and taken ten wickets in a match three times. His best bowling figures are 7-42, achieved recently versus West Indies. Previously, his best figures were 7-43, against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 2008.  It is a tribute to his longevity that he achieved his best figures in the last of his 129 Tests so far.

As a batsman, Anderson is probably the best Number 11 in history. He not only has 81 as a highest Test score, he has also played the longest innings by a number 11 in Test history.

Stuart Broad is the son of dour batsman Chris Broad. Yuvraj Singh fans know him as the fast bowler who was hit for six 6s in an over in the T20 World Cup. However, as a Test bowler, Broad is a different story. Debuting at unforgiving Colombo in 2007, with 1-95 in 36 while Sri Lanka piled up 548, was soon forgotten. Broad shone as a super supporting cast to Anderson and at times outshone him as well.

In his 109 Tests, Broad has picked up 388 wickets, with five wickets in an innings 15 times, and ten wickets in a match twice. His best bowling was his 8-15, singlehandedly bowling out Australia for 60 on the first morning of the Test match at Trent Bridge in the 2015 Ashes – a match in which Anderson did not play.

Broad also has two Test match hattricks, one against India and one against Sri Lanka.

As Anderson has the highest Test score by an Englishman at No.11, Broad has the highest Test score for an English No.9. His huge 169 at Lord’s came after his side’s four, five and six fell for ducks.Broad also has ten Test 50s – as long as he is at the crease, bowling sides cannot breathe easy.

If there is any question about the English pair, it’s that while at home they take a wicket every 51 (Anderson) and 53 (Broad) deliveries, abroad it increases to 67 and 66.

Australia will be hoping this trend continues.

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