Stuart Broad believes he can follow the example of longstanding new-ball colleague James Anderson by extending his international career into his late 30s after a three-wicket haul in the second Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford on Sunday kept England in the hunt for a series-levelling win.
Broad took three wickets for one run in 14 balls on the fourth day as West Indies were dismissed for 287 in reply to England’s first innings 469/9 declared.
Having failed to enforce the follow-on, England were 37/2 in their second innings at stumps, an overall lead of 219 heading into the final day of a match where there was no play Saturday because of rain.
With England facing a schedule of six Tests in seven weeks, including three against Pakistan, Broad was rested from the opener against the West Indies at Southampton – a move he said during a mid-match interview that made him feel “frustrated, angry, gutted”.
England, despite Anderson leading their attack, lost by four wickets to fall 1-0 behind in a three-match series that marks world cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.
Roles, however, have been reversed in Manchester even though the second Test is taking place at Anderson’s Lancashire home ground.
Broad is second only to Anderson in England’s list of all-time leading Test wicket-takers, with Sunday’s treble taking him to 488 in his 139th match at this level compared to the swing specialist’s 587 from 152.
But although they are England’s most successful Test bowling pairing, the 34-year-old Broad is several years younger than Anderson, who turns 38 at the end of this month.
“I think sometimes I get put in an older category than I am,” Broad told reporters. “Jimmy has taken around 130 Test wickets since he was my age, why can’t I do the same? I’m hungry, my fitness levels are good. Why not try and emulate what Jimmy has done and play to his age? I feel I can. Today proved that again. When I set goals it makes me hungry to achieve them.”
England captain Joe Root suggested before this match the days of Broad and Anderson routinely playing in the same Test side may be coming to an end, citing a need to extend their individual careers for as long as possible and with the selectors wanting to look at other combinations ahead of the 2021/22 Ashes tour of Australia.
Broad, however, insisted on Sunday: “I’d be surprised if that was the route decided. We’ve been very successful. It’s such a unique summer with six Tests over six weeks that rotation will be necessary. We get put in a category together but we both perform well without each other and with each other.
“I want to play with Jimmy again and hope he feels the same. We complement each other and create a lot of pressure together. When our paths cross again might depend on workloads but I hope we play together this summer and would be surprised if we don’t.”