James Anderson and Stuart Broad have shown their qualities: Alec Stewart

Updated: Jul 27, 2020, 08:22 IST | PTI | Manchester

Both Anderson and Broad are in their mid-30s, but former England captain Alec Stewart believes the duo should play together for England as long as it is possible

Stuart Broad en route his 6-31 at Old Trafford yesterday
Stuart Broad en route his 6-31 at Old Trafford yesterday

Veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad complement each other well and their performances over the years have only proved that age is just a number, feel former England cricketers. Both Anderson and Broad are in their mid-30s, but former England captain Alec Stewart believes the duo should play together for England as long as it is possible.

"A lot has been said and written about whether Broad and Anderson are on their way out and if they should play together," Stewart, who has scored 8463 runs in 133 Tests for England, was quoted as saying on Sky Sports 'Cricket Debate'. "Well, they have shown that forget what their age is and what their birth certificates say - if you are good enough (age doesn't matter). Pick on performance and what people can do.

"I appreciate having an eye on the future but, here and now, Broad and Anderson taking the new ball is as good as there is and they showed all their qualities." While England dropped 34-year-old Broad for the first Test against the West India which they lost in Southampton, Anderson, 37, was rested for the second game.

But fielded together, both the pacers are making an impact in the ongoing series decider. The duo have already picked up two wickets apiece as West Indies slumped to 137 for 6 in their first innings on the second day, in reply to England's 369. Former England pacer Dominic Cork agreed with Stewart, saying Anderson and Broad's different styles of bowling augur well for the team.

"I understand these are back-to-back Test matches and England want to make sure they (Anderson and Broad) play the majority of games," said the 48-year-old, who took 131 wickets in 37 Tests for England. "But they are closing in on 1,000 Test wickets between them and complement each other really well with their different styles of bowling. Jimmy understands the art of wobble seam and then when he swaps ends he tries to swing it, while Broad seems to be learning even more.

"While they are both fit and want to play, they play every single Test match for me. Unless there are injury doubts, they are the first two on the list." Broad and Anderson have played 117 Tests together, but have fielded together only three times in the last 15 Tests.

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