Former off-spinner Graeme Swann has slammed selectors for splitting England’s most successful new-ball pairing of Stuart Broad and James Anderson during the recently-concluded Test series against the West Indies, saying “you don’t discard blokes with 500 Test wickets lightly”.
England paid the price for dumping Broad in the first Test as they lost by four wickets at Southampton. With Jofra Archer missing the second Test due to a bio-secure breach, Broad returned to take six wickets as England bounced back with a 113-run win.
In the third Test, Broad was awarded the man of the match after he took 10 wickets to cross the 500-wicket mark and also scored a crucial 62 with the bat as England sealed the series with a 269-run win. The experienced Anderson, on the other hand, was included in the first Test but rested in the second match before finally joining his long-time partner Broad in the third Test.
“How stupid did it look to break up England’s most successful bowling partnership of all-time when we lost that first Test match?” Swann, who has taken 255 wickets in 60 Tests, was quoted as saying by ‘Mirror.co.uk’. “Jimmy and Broady have formed one of the most successful bowling double acts Test cricket has known. Why would you want to chuck it out before its sell-by date? I can understand the attraction of 90mph pace, and both Jofra and Woody are huge assets.”
“But I’m sorry, you don’t discard blokes with 500 Test wickets lightly,” Swann said. Broad and Anderson have captured 1,090 wickets between them, with 895 of those scalps coming in the 117 Tests they have played together. “Jimmy and Broady go together like Morecambe and Wise or Bonnie and Clyde,” Swann said.