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NASSER HUSSAIN: A big smile for the golden oldies as English sailors Stuart and James Anderson rewrite the record books and take the hosts to the brink of a series win
- England’s Stuart Broad took Glenn McGrath into the Test wicket-takers table
- Sunday was a day when both he and Jimmy Anderson showed their class
- Once again, both seamen showed their tremendous value to England here vs South Africa
- The duo got the ball moving brilliantly to help the hosts the Proteas . to play out
It was a fine moment for Stuart Broad to pass one of his heroes in Glenn McGrath at the Test wicket-takers table on a day when both he and Jimmy Anderson once again showed their enduring quality and class.
For two of us at Anderson and Broad it is a phenomenal achievement to be the leading seafarers in Test wicket history and Stuart will be proud to be there with just his big size in front of him.
Once again, the pair showed their tremendous value for England here on Sunday as 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 seaming move he’d seen in the Oval in the first innings.
It was a great moment for Stuart Broad to pass one of his heroes in Glenn McGrath at the Test wicket-takers table on a day when he and Jimmy Anderson showed their quality again
Broad surpassed legendary former Australian fast bowler McGrath’s total of 563 Test wickets
For Anderson and Broad it is a great achievement to be the leading seamen in Test wicket history
Both showed why they are masters of their art. The Keegan Petersen set up 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 Petersen couldn’t help it. He was also set for height. Two deliveries pushed him back and then the crucial ball was just a little fuller.
Thanks to Ben Stokes. South Africa built a partnership but Stokes had four briefs and Petersen was caught by the fourth in Ollie Pope.
On the other hand, Broad told his work to left-handers. Okay, the ball Dean Elgar knocked went down his leg and he should have watched it, but the full length did for him after Broad bowled shorter.
After that, Ben Foakes assisted in the resignation of Ryan Rickelton. He’d seen Rickelton get his left foot way out of the punch, so he encouraged Broad to cross it with the outswinger before going for the full inswinger.
The pair again showed their value to England on the fourth day of Sunday’s third Test
Stokes was once again at the forefront by giving Broad cover on the leg side so he could go full and straight.
But whoever comes up with the plans, you still need world-class bowlers to execute them and Anderson did it on one side while Broad did it on the other.
There’s no reason the couple can’t move on from here. I don’t think Broad will be going to Pakistan for three tests this winter because of the arrival of his first child, but I would take Anderson.
The pitches may be swollen there, but Jimmy has done very well against Pakistan on similar surfaces in the UAE, taking 22 wickets in six Tests of 20 each, and he has the skills to succeed in all conditions.
Credit must also go to Ben Stokes (right) whose attacking fields helped sack the Proteas
We need to enjoy Broad and Anderson as long as possible. I’ve always said we’re getting rid of our big cricketers too soon and these are our two biggest bowlers. Let’s hold them and let the future take care of itself.
Fortunately, rotation is a thing of the past. England pick their best team for the Test ahead, as they always should have, and Broad has played in each of the seven Tests this summer.
England could have knocked South Africa out of the game in the first innings but gave away wickets to pursue 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 if they win today, and they certainly will, they will have won six out of seven home tests this summer and you can’t really argue with that.