Stokes hails enduring quality of Anderson and Broad

England's James Anderson (L) walks from the field with teammate Stuart Broad after their win during day four of the first cricket Test match between New Zealand and England at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on February 19, 2023. Photo: AFP

Captain Ben Stokes said on Sunday he doesn't want to contemplate the day James Anderson and Stuart Broad aren't playing for England after the bowling greats destroyed New Zealand's batting in the first Test at Mount Maunganui.

The indefatigable new ball pair took 12 wickets between them during the 267-run win, including four victims each in the second innings, to add to their prolific career tallies.

During the match, they became the most successful partnership in history, climbing to 1,009 wickets in Tests played together to overhaul the celebrated Australians Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Stokes said that their astonishing numbers -- Anderson now has 682 Test wickets in all and Broad 571 -- do not do justice to the impact the pair have on their team-mates.

"Not only were they brilliant in this game with the ball," said Stokes, "but I said last night in the dressing room that we've got a 40-year-old (Anderson) and a 36-year-old (Broad) setting the standard of what we're about in the field in terms of energy.

"You look at how many games they've won for England and how many more they probably will do going forward, they're setting a great example not only for us in the dressing room but I think for anyone who wants to have a long career in professional sport," said Stokes.

"I don't want to think too far ahead as to when they might call time on their careers because the way they're going at the moment, you don't want to think about that."

New Zealand captain Tim Southee is his country's third-greatest wicket-taker with 355 wickets but that figure is dwarfed by Anderson and Broad who are third and fifth on the all-time Test list, and the top two seam bowlers.

Southee conceded he was a "fan" of the England pair.

"Those two have been phenomenal now for a very long time, not only their skills and ability on the field but just the way they've been able to keep their bodies intact and the work that goes in away from the game," he said.

"I've been a big fan of both of them for a long period of time. It doesn't look like they're slowing down any time soon."


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