Broad joins the elite 500-club

August 9, 2020

The tall English bowler is among the finest pacers of the 21st century

When Stuart Broad dismissed Kraigg Brathwaite during the third Test against West Indies at Old Trafford, he became just the seventh bowler in the world - second Englishman - to reach the landmark of 500 Test wickets.

Only three fast bowlers had achieved the feat before Broad. Achieving the milestone in the last Test against West Indies was a difficult task for Broad as nine wickets were required to achieve the landmark, but his six-wicket haul for just 31 runs made it easy.

West Indies’ great Courtney Walsh collected 519 from 132 games, and Australia’s Glenn McGrath took 563 in 124 matches. England’s James Anderson has so far got 589 wickets from 153 Tests.

The bowlers with more than 600 Test wickets are all former spinners: Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619).

Muralitharan was the first to reach the landmark of 500 Test wickets. Later, Muralitharan’s fitness problems gave a chance to Shane Warne to surpass him and Warne became the first bowler to take 600 and then 700 Test wickets. But Muralitharan was the eventual winner as he ended his Test career with record 800 wickets.

Muralitharan has two almost unbreakable records: 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls. His competitor Shane Warne is far behind, with 37 and 10, respectively.

Stuart Christopher John Broad, son of former England opener and currently ICC Match Referee Chris Broad, is one of the finest pacers of this era. But he is far behind other fast bowlers who have taken over 500 Test wickets. Broad’s average of 27.94 is much higher than McGrath (21.64), Walsh (24.44) and Anderson (26.85).

Broad’s economy rate (2.95) is also higher than McGrath (2.49), Walsh (2.53) and Anderson (2.86).

Broad has been an essential part of English Test team for a long time. He made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Colombo (SSC) on December 7, 2007. It was not an ideal start for the pacer as he managed only one wicket, conceding 95 runs.

Broad has not officially retired from one-day cricket, but his importance in the longest version of the game made the English board decide to not use him in ODIs. He has played only three ODIs since the 2015 World Cup.

He played his last ODI against South Africa at Cape Town on February 14, 2016, in which he remained wicket-less, conceding 34 runs.

The 6ft. 5 in. tall fast bowler from Nottingham faced the most embarrassing moment of his career in the 2007 World T20, when Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh hit him for six sixes in an over.

Sometime back Yuvraj revealed that Stuart’s father Chris Broad came up to him the day after that match and said: “You almost finished my son’s career and now you need to sign a shirt for him.”

Yuvraj gave him his India jersey and wrote a message for Stuart, saying, “I have been hit for five sixes so I know how it feels. For the future of England cricket, all the best.”

Broad has taken 227 wickets in 64 Tests since the 2015 World Cup.

During the same period, Anderson got 199 wickets in 52 matches.

Anderson and Broad have taken 895 wickets in the 117 Tests they have played together: Anderson (473) and Broad (422). It is a record for a fast-bowling pair.

McGrath (488) and Warne (513) took 1001 wickets in 104 Tests together. West Indies’ Curtly Ambrose and Walsh got 762 wickets in 95 Tests. Pakistan’s Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram took 559 wickets in 61 Tests together.

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Broad joins the elite 500-club