Captain Joe Root hailed a “phenomenal achievement” from Stuart Broad after the England seamer passed 500 Test wickets in the series-clinching win over West Indies.
The 34-year-old Broad wrapped up England’s 269-run victory at Old Trafford by dismissing Jermaine Blackwood, securing a 10-wicket haul in the match.
That was his 501st Test wicket, the landmark having been reached earlier in the day when he pinned Kraigg Brathwaite lbw, as Broad added 4-36 to his first-innings 6-31.
Broad also cracked a rapid 62 with the bat in an important first-innings knock, just as West Indies were disrupting the home side’s momentum.
Root commended England on back-to-back Old Trafford wins that he described as “excellent”, after the hosts lost the first game at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl.
He said the bowling had been outstanding, and Root was delighted with Broad particularly, the 34-year-old having been recalled after being overlooked for that opening defeat.
“For him to come back into the team and over the course of the two games have such an impact is testament to how good a player he has been for England over such a long period of time,” Root said on Sky Sports.
“I couldn’t be more happy for him to finish off the way it did today. Runs in the first innings, 10 wickets in the game, 500 Test match wickets … it’s a phenomenal achievement.
“It sort of sums Stuart up – he gets on those hot streaks and has real impacts in games. He wants to be a part of those big occasions and I’m really pleased for him to get to that milestone.
“There’s so many different occasions – a number of different Ashes series where he’s done it, in Johannesburg, with his match-winning spell there, here within this series. He’s that sort of guy that really grabs the game and wrestles it in your favour.”
Congratulations to @StuartBroad8 on reaching 500 test wits hard work does pay off. I still remember you bowling to my son at Bristol when you both were kids.. well done and the sky is the limits next step 600.
— Courtney A Walsh (@CuddyWalsh) July 28, 2020
Broad and James Anderson were back in tandem, with England’s most prolific Test bowlers continuing to set high standards. Only seven bowlers in the history of Test cricket have taken 500 wickets or more, and England currently have two of them within their ranks.
Chris Woakes stepped up in the second innings to take five wickets, and Root sees the influence of England’s two bowling talismen rubbing off.
“We’re looking at two of England’s best bowlers of all time. I’ve said it before but we’ve got to understand how lucky we are to see them going about their business, playing alongside them, seeing them operate day in and day out,” Root said.
“It’s a real privilege to play alongside both Jimmy and Stuart and hopefully it’s going to happen for a lot longer as well.”
With Jofra Archer also offering a pace threat, Root believes England are supremely strong in that department.
He said: “You look at the talent that’s among those guys and it offers a huge amount, and I feel like they could exploit a lot of different surfaces around the world.”