‘Incredible to watch, an inspiration for everybody’

England fast bowler Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket on Tuesday when he trapped West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite leg before wicket on the last day of the third and final Test at Old Trafford.

Broad is the second England bowler after James Anderson and the seventh in the overall list of highest wicket takers, which is led by Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan with 800 scalps, followed by Shane Warne (708), Anil Kumble (619), Anderson (589), Glenn McGrath (563) and Courtney Walsh (519).

“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,” said Anderson.

After he was dropped from the Southampton game at the start of this month, a miffed Broad said: “I’ve been frustrated, angry, gutted – because it’s quite a hard decision to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt, having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there,”

“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 added.

Former skipper Michael Atherton said that Broad had shown that he still has “fire in the belly”, asserting that the “champion sportsman” has the potential to claim 600 Test wickets.

“The mark of a champion sportsman is not when you get knocked down, but how you bounce back and we’ve seen that in this series with Stuart Broad,” Atherton wrote in a column for Sky Sports. “When you get left out, that’s when you find out a little bit more about yourself. Some players, when they get to that stage and get left out, they might just say, ‘Well, I’ve done enough with my career’.

“But clearly Stuart Broad, with that fire in the belly he showed, has got more to come and he doesn’t just want to get 500 wickets – he wants to get up to 600 as well,” Atherton added.

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