‘Anderson is an addict of the art of bowling’, says Broad ahead of veteran’s retirement

London: Former England fast-bowler Stuart Broad has said James Anderson is “an addict of the art of bowling” ahead of the veteran pacer preparing to play his final Test match against the West Indies at Lord’s starting on July 10.

Anderson had earned 187 caps for England since his debut in 2003 and will end his international career during the Lord’s Test against the West Indies. Earlier this year, Anderson became the third bowler after Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan to reach the landmark of 700 Test wickets – the most by any fast-bowler – earlier this year during England’s fifth and final match of their India tour at Dharamshala in March.

“He loves the rhythm of running into bowl, the control of the technique of his action, the tactical side of whether he’s bowling away swing, inswing, wobble seam. When you talk about professionals who have had longevity, you often talk about their dedication to training, their discipline in the gym and their diet.

“And of course you don’t play to 42 unless you have that but the thing that makes him different is his genuine love of the art of what he does. Addict is generally used as a negative word but I’d say he is an addict of the art of bowling,” wrote Broad in his column for The Times on Sunday.

Broad, who retired from all forms of the game after the final Ashes Test at The Oval last year, shared the dressing room with Anderson for 138 games to form a lethal new-ball pair. He feels Anderson’s ability to reverse-swing in Tests is highly underrated.

“He doesn’t get enough credit for his reverse-swing, which has been crucial to his great record in the subcontinent. Because his line and length are so immaculate it makes it lethal. (South Africa paceman) Dale Steyn was phenomenal and quicker than Jimmy but Jimmy is certainly the best reverse-swing bowler I’ve played with and probably the best I’ve witnessed in the flesh outside of Steyn.

“(His) ability to adapt and learn is why he has been so successful for so long. In professional sport you have to be continually improving because there is always a younger bowler trying to get your shirt.

“It is that genuine love for the art of bowling that has made him want to improve and learn new deliveries. It’s why he will go out at Lord’s this week as England’s greatest ever bowler,” he concluded.


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