Stuart Broad pays tribute to bowling ‘addict’ James Anderson ahead of final Test

Stuart Broad has described James Anderson as “an addict of the art of bowling” as the veteran paceman prepares for his final England Test.

Anderson, 42 later this month, will walk out to face the West Indies at Lord’s on Wednesday before calling time on an England career which has so far brought 700 Test wickets in 187 matches – both records amongst fast bowlers – and arguably made him England’s finest bowler of all time.

Broad, a team-mate for 138 of those games, paid tribute to his long-time new-ball partner and said his brilliance was down to his love of what he does.

England's James Anderson, left, celebrates the wicket of Australia's Mitchell Marsh, not pictured, in the 2023 Ashes as non-striker Steve Smith looks on
James Anderson has taken 700 Test wickets (Mike Egerton/PA)

Broad wrote in the Times: “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.”

Anderson has made his name as an outstanding swing bowler, which has paid particular dividends on home turf. But Broad argued his reverse-swing remains under-rated.

“He doesn’t get enough credit for his reverse-swing, which has been crucial to his great record in the subcontinent,” Broad wrote. “Because his line and length are so immaculate it makes it lethal.

England's Stuart Broad wearing a shirt with James Anderson's name and number nine
Broad played 138 Tests in the same line-up as Anderson (Mike Egerton/PA)

“(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.”