Anderson and Broad: England’s history-making pace pair
James Anderson and Stuart Broad became the most prolific bowling partnership in Test cricket during England’s victory over New Zealand in the first Test.
The pair have travelled all over the cricketing world together for the past 15 years taking edges, rapping pads and hitting stumps and may never be caught, with their total now on a combined 1,009.
Here we take a look at how the numbers of Anderson and Broad stack up against the game’s other most-prolific partners in crime.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad (England, 2008-2023)
England’s elite seam team first came together in New Zealand back in 2008, in a changing of the guard moment that saw them usurp Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard. Fifteen years later they are back in the same country and still showing the same skill and hunger that has contributed to an unprecedented longevity. Individually they sit third and fifth on the all-time wicket-takers list, but as a unit, they are now untouchable.
History Makers ❤️
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 18, 2023
Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath (Australia, 1993-2007)
The ultimate odd couple underpinned Australia’s period of dominance with a beguiling mix and match of styles and personalities. In Warne they had one of the sport’s most colourful and unpredictable characters, who single-handedly lit a spark under the art of leg-spin. In the relentless McGrath, they could call on the surest of sure things in terms of pace-bowling technique and temperament. Between them they could make any surface a batter’s nightmare.
Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka 1994-2009)
Muralitharan’s mark of 800 victims is unlikely to ever be beaten, with the mystery spinner overcoming controversy around his idiosyncratic bowling action to become the game’s most prolific wicket-taker. In a country dominated by spin, Vaas stands alone as Sri Lanka’s greatest seamer and was a reliably-classy foil for Murali over 15 years.
Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh (West Indies 1988-2000)
The annals of Caribbean cricket are well decorated with pace greats, at least half a dozen of whom are considered as good or better than this pair. What stands Ambrose and Walsh apart from the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Wes Hall is their longevity and shared body of work. From young firebrands to flag-carrying veterans, they saw it all together.
Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon
Two stalwarts of Australia’s Test side in recent years, with Starc providing left-arm pace, swing and aggression and Lyon a wily brand of off-spin. Starc has made his mark by attacking the stumps rather than bashing out metronomic lines and lengths, while Lyon has overcome a lack of mystery balls to earn the nickname ‘GOAT’ among team-mates.
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis (Pakistan 1989-2002)
A dream combination. Wasim brought the left-arm angle, control of the seam and ability to vary speed, while Waqar’s booming yorker, raw pace and use of reverse swing were the stuff of legend. When the duo was on song, there was simply nowhere for batters to hide.
Wasim & Waqar – the finest opening bowling pair of all time? pic.twitter.com/W2JsDRIFTR
— Lord's Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) October 2, 2016
Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson (Australia 1972-82)
Fitness issues and a detour to World Series Cricket means the Australian quicks have a relatively slim CV in Test cricket. Despite sharing the field just 26 times in the format though, they left a huge legacy for the fire and fury they displayed on the pitch. Their work in the 1974-75 Ashes showcased them at their visceral, volatile best.