England cricket is blessed to have two quality seamers in the form of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have optimally extracted the rewards on the juicy wickets at home.
The greats of English cricket have over a thousand Test wickets to their name. The Broad-Anderson pair bowling in tandem in overcast conditions of England has been one of the uphill tasks for touring batting lineups, building an unsurmountable fortress at home.
However, there has been one batsman who gave nightmares to the champion bowling duo of England. In a recent interaction between Anderson and Broad, they revealed that the thought of bowling at South African captain Graeme Smith gave them nightmares.
Smith got an opportunity to display his batting prowess, opening the batting, taking over from legendary Protea batsman Gary Kirsten, during the 2003 England tour.
There, Smith wreaked havoc into the host’s camp with a monumental tally of 719 runs in just nine innings, including his two back-to-back double centuries.
“I found Graeme Smith an absolute nightmare to bowl at. I wish I could bowl at him having worked on my bowling round the wicket. It might have been different if I could try to get him driving. But bowling over the wicket never worked, it was hopeless,” Broad told Anderson.
Later, the highest wicket-taker in Tests amongst pacers concurred Broad statements with a few interesting anecdotes.
“I had exactly the same problem. My first series against him was in 2003 and at that time I could only swing the ball back in, I didn’t have an out-swinger to a left-handed batsman. I was just feeding his strength, and I was getting so annoyed. He always got it through the leg-side,” Anderson concluded.
In his 12-year long glittering career, Smith ended up with more than 17,000 international runs in all formats of the game, along with a respectable tally of 37 international tons.