As he sits on the verge of becoming only the fourth pacer in history to breach the 500-wicket barrier in Tests, Stuart Broad finds himself with the prospect of missing a first home Test appearance in eight years.
With England reportedly pondering unleashing the pace duo of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood on the West Indies, Broad’s seasoned pairing with James Anderson is likely to be broken. It was against the Windies in 2012 that Broad was last omitted for a Test on England soil, and history could repeat itself when the two teams take the field at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.
That Broad will get his milestone is inevitable really, especially with England playing six Tests in quick succession against West Indies and Pakistan. Although the impression one gets is that of Broad largely playing secondary foil to Anderson’s exploits, they have a similar strike-rate of approximately 57 after 289 Tests between them.
It has now always been the smoothest rides in an England shirt for a man who recently turned 34, with a near 14-year long senior career punctuated between several highs along with a few lows. He will not be placed in the elite category of Test pacers which includes the Glenn McGraths, the Richard Hadlees and the Dale Steyns, though his career numbers have justified a position in a tier just below them.
As a man who is adored by England fans as equally as he is hated in Australia, Broad’s career is remarkable. As England mull their pace options for the three-Test series against the West Indies, we take a look back at how Broad’s Test fortunes have progressed over the years.
A TOUGH BAPTISM BY FIRE
When he made his England Test debut in Colombo towards the end of 2007, Broad had already