Stuart Broad  © Getty Images
In Tests, Stuart Broad has 274 scalps to his name and if he keeps himself injury-free, he has at least another five to six years ahead of him © Getty Images

Stuart Broad has come under some strong criticism following his abysmal show at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and having a below par series against West Indies in the Caribbean. The 28-year old all-rounder is slowly getting back to his best and the upcoming home series against New Zealand could probably be a chance for him to get back to his best. Pramod Ananth feels that Broad still has a lot more to offer.

Broad managed just four wickets in the six World Cup games and not surprisingly, England exited the tournament at the group stage itself. Many are writing him off at this stage and probably believe that he is not as good as he was once upon a time. England are blessed with a series of good fast bowlers among their ranks. They have the veteran James Anderson, who has toiled hard for England ever since he made his debut in 2003.

Other options England have at their disposal are Steven Finn, Chris Woakes, Tim Bresnan and the recent inclusion Mark Wood. Wood could be given a surprise debut in the first Test against New Zealand, but the question is, who drops out? It surely can’t be Anderson. It will be a toss up between Broad and Chris Jordan, if it comes to that. READ: New Zealand’s best chance to beat England

The selectors will think long and hard before booting Broad out as he has formed an excellent partnership with Anderson over the years in Tests as well as One-Day Internationals (ODI).  The duo bowl well in tandem and complement each other very well, which has yielded fruits for England for well over a decade. READ: Adam Lyth’s selection comes as a positive sign amidst England’s cricketing saga

Stuart Broad Test record with James Anderson

M I W BBI BBM 5w
72 132 260 7 for44 11 for 121 11

Broad has played 72 of his 77 Tests with Anderson. Along with Anderson he has been one of England’s key figures in the bowling department.  Anderson too has thrived in this partnership and has a fantastic record with broad in the side.

James Anderson Test record with Stuart Broad

M I W BBI BBM 5w
72 134 290 7 for 43 11 for 71 14

Out of Anderson’s 397 wickets, 290 have come when he is playing with Broad and has a better average and economy rate with him. There is no doubt that Broad and Anderson have been the pillar of England’s bowling.

Broad along with his ability to bowl has proved that he is no mug with the bat either. Broad has a century and 10 half-centuries and scores at an average of 23, which is excellent for a batsman playing low down the order.  However, he has scored three ducks in his last four innings, which definitely has to improve.

Broad in the recently concluded series against some technical changes helped him bowl at 90 miles per hour (MPH), which was a touch uncharacteristic.

“I was getting a bit too tight in to the stumps, which technically for me means I can’t get my hips through and drive through, and a lot of my weight falls off to the side. So a slight technical change allowed me to stay a bit wider on the crease and my whole body and momentum goes through. So I wasn’t surprised my paces were up today and I was delighted to make some impact with that new ball because we needed quick wickets at that time,” said Broad was quoted by ecb.co.uk.

He picked up four wickets in the first innings of the third Test against West Indies recently and was looking at his best. Although there is tough competition for a place in the playing XI, Broad has the experience and the talent to bounce back. An excellent performance against New Zealand will give Broad the much needed boost.

Broad has 274 scalps to his name and if he keeps himself injury-free has at least another five to six years ahead of him. England at this point of time need Broad’s expertise and need his experience in the side as well. The upcoming series against New Zealand is hopefully where he returns to his very best.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)