Veteran England fast bowler James Anderson on Tuesday hailed "inspirational" Stuart Broad as the latter closed in on his 500th career Test wicket. Anderson opined that if Broad can continue with his current form, there is a good chance he might end up with more Test wickets for England than him.
Broad was left put of the opener against West Indies earlier this month as England opted to go with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood alongside Anderson. The decision left Broad "angry, frustrated and gutted" and on being picked for the next two games, he made a statement of intent, picking 14 wickets at 10.50 in the series, ahead of the final day of the series.
Anderson hailed the manner in which Broad has made a comeback over the last few years and improved on his bowling. Since the 2018 tour of New Zealand, Broad has 89 wickets in 24 Tests at 23.19 - the most in the world in the period. Moreover, his wickets have come at a price of almost six runs less than Anderson's scalps. At home, Broad has 67 wickets in 15 matches during the period - highest for any England bowler - and at an average only a tad more than Anderson's.
"The way Stuart has bowled in the last two games has been absolutely phenomenal. He's a credit to himself, the work he's put in over the last couple of years. Incredible to watch, an inspiration not just for younger members of the team but for me. The way he dealt with [being left out], he looked like he had a real point to prove and he has proved that. I'm always amazed by how he gets in a spell and just blows people away. I don't think either of us is that fussed about the wickets tally. We love bowling together in Test matches... we enjoy winning games for England. There's a very good chance he'll end up with more wickets than me," Anderson told Sky Sports on the morning of Day 5.
The veteran is presently England's highest wicket-taker and stands 11 shy of the elite 600-wicket club while Broad stands a wicket away from having his 500th dismissal.
Anderson also talked about his decision to take rest form the second game given that England have a long summer which includes the Pakistan Test series as well and the veteran will be a key in the next matches.
"I've felt great. I feel it was a smart decision to miss that second game. My body feels rested and fresh, and I did feel in good rhythm. It could be a frustrating day if the showers that are forecast arrive, but we'll got to be focused and spot-on with the balls that we bowl, trying to make them play as much as we can," he added.