Stuart Broad is all set to join a small band of 13 England cricketers, who have played 100 or more Tests for their country.
It’s a minuscule number, considering that 673 cricketers have played for the country from the time England and Australia clashed at Melbourne in March 1877.
Broad made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in December 2007.
Broad (99 Tests, 360 wickets at 28.49, 2647 runs, 1×100, 10×50) has been highly successful against India with 46 wickets at 23.35, but in India he has a paltry two wickets in three Tests at 145.50.
But, he’s expected to play the lead role at least in the first two Tests here and at Visakhapatnam as Anderson —who is likely to join the team here on Tuesday — may just be declared fit for the third Test at Mohali.
The 30-year-old is thrilled that he will soon belong to the special club.
“I am aware how special an achievement it is because of the players that have played before me. The amount they have given to English cricket, it’s a special cap to receive. What excites me more is this 100th game being the start of a huge series for us as well.
“There is no bigger occasion than starting a series in India, against the No.1 team in the world.
“It’s great to get to a milestone in such an important game because we know how vital it is to start these tours well.’’
Has he been a different bowler without Anderson?
“I don’t think I have been a different bowler with Jimmy not in the side. With Jimmy I communicate really well; we talk about conditions, talk about the ball, talk about reverse swing, the new batsman coming in.
“When Jimmy is not in the side, I make sure the bowling unit is sharing as much as possible because if you go quiet, you are not working together.”
Talking about the five-Test series he said: “the advantage of a five-match series is that you do get a lot of time to learn from experience.
“It was four the last time around and we lost the first one (Motera). But learned so much in those conditions, took that forward and won the next two and drew the last one.
“In a five-match series, you have a chance to make a mistake. Like we did last time, India beat us at Lord’s, but we won the last three Test matches to win the series.
“So, it does really give you a chance to assess conditions and get used to them a lot. But the downside is you play five Tests in six weeks. If you are not in the eleven, it doesn’t give you lot of opportunities to play cricket elsewhere, does it?
Finally, Broad said that he’s not really keen to be called an all-rounder:
“I have always seen myself as a frontline seamer. My dream is to try and get the new ball for England because that’s the best chance to make an impact.”