NASSER HUSSAIN: Broad smiles as England seamers Stuart and James Anderson rewrite the record books

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NASSER HUSSAIN: Broad smiles all round for golden oldies as England seamers Stuart and James Anderson rewrite the record books and take the hosts to the brink of a series win

  • England’s Stuart Broad overtook Glenn McGrath in the Test wicket-takers table
  • Sunday was a day when both he and Jimmy Anderson displayed their class 
  • Again, both seamers showed their huge value to England here vs South Africa
  • The duo got the ball moving brilliantly to help the hosts bowl out the Proteas 

It was a lovely moment for Stuart Broad to go past one of his heroes in Glenn McGrath in the Test wicket-takers table on a day when both he and Jimmy Anderson again displayed their enduring quality and class.

For two of our own in Anderson and Broad to be the leading seamers in Test wicket history is a phenomenal achievement and Stuart will be proud to be up there with just his great mate ahead of him.

Again, the pair showed their huge value to England here on Sunday when they got the ball moving after lunch, getting a good shine on one side to find orthodox swing, after what Broad described as the most seam movement he had seen at the Oval in the first innings.

It was a lovely moment for Stuart Broad to go past one of his heroes in Glenn McGrath in the Test wicket-takers table on a day when he and Jimmy Anderson again displayed their quality

It was a lovely moment for Stuart Broad to go past one of his heroes in Glenn McGrath in the Test wicket-takers table on a day when he and Jimmy Anderson again displayed their quality

Broad surpassed legendary former Australian fast bowler McGrath's total of 563 Test wickets

Broad surpassed legendary former Australian fast bowler McGrath’s total of 563 Test wickets

For Anderson and Broad to be the leading seamers in Test wicket history is a fine achievement

For Anderson and Broad to be the leading seamers in Test wicket history is a fine achievement

Both showed why they are masters of their art. The set-up to Keegan Petersen by Anderson was brilliant. He had just bowled him an over of inswingers and then with no discernible change of action, he switched to outswing and found the edge.

I’ve seen it so many times, I’ve faced it, and you know it’s coming but there was nothing Petersen could do. He was set up by length too. Two deliveries pushed him back and then the crucial ball was that little bit fuller.

Credit to Ben Stokes. South Africa were building a partnership but Stokes had four slips in and Petersen was caught by the fourth in Ollie Pope.

At the other end, Broad was going about his work to left-handers. OK, the ball that dismissed Dean Elgar was going down legside and he should have reviewed but the fuller length did for him after Broad had been bowling shorter. 

Then Ben Foakes assisted in the dismissal of Ryan Rickelton. He had seen how Rickelton gets his left foot way outside off-stump so he encouraged Broad to take him across with the outswinger before going for the full inswinger. 

The pair showed their value to England again on the fourth day of the third Test on Sunday

The pair showed their value to England again on the fourth day of the third Test on Sunday

Stokes again was to the fore by giving Broad cover on the legside so he could go full and straight.

But whoever comes up with the plans, you still need world-class bowlers to implement them and Anderson did it at one end while Broad did it at the other.

There is no reason why the pair can’t go on and on from here. I don’t think Broad will go to Pakistan for three Tests this winter because of the arrival of his first child but I would take Anderson.

The pitches there can be turgid but Jimmy has done very well against Pakistan on similar surfaces in the UAE, taking 22 wickets in six Tests at 20 apiece, and has skills to succeed in any conditions. 

Credit must also go to Ben Stokes (right) whose attacking fields helped dismiss the Proteas

Credit must also go to Ben Stokes (right) whose attacking fields helped dismiss the Proteas

We have to enjoy Broad and Anderson for as long as we can. I have always said we are too quick to get rid of our great cricketers and these are our two greatest bowlers. Let’s hang on to them and let the future look after itself.

Thankfully rotation is a thing of the past. England are picking their best team for the Test in front of them, as they always should have, and Broad has played in each of the seven Tests this summer.

England could have batted South Africa out of the game in the first innings but gave away wickets in pursuit of quick runs and that will always be the debate over the overly aggressive way they are playing now.

There is a middle ground and England found it in the second Test at Old Trafford but when they win today, as they surely will, they will have won six out of seven home Tests this summer and you can’t really argue with that.  

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