Stuart Broad has detailed how the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne inspired him to be Australia’s biggest tormenter in Test history and the latest member of the 600-wicket club.
Broad became the second seamer, behind teammate James Anderson, and fifth man overall to reach the 600-wicket milestone on Wednesday, when he had Travis Head caught hooking.
The wickets of Usman Khawaja and Head at Old Trafford took Broad’s tally against Australia to 149, one clear of Ian Botham for the most ever against the nation.
And according to Broad, it was a childhood spent watching Australia winning that made him want to emulate their dominant side of the 1990s and early 2000s.
“I grew up completely obsessed watching Ashes cricket and I suppose that’s why some of my heroes are Warnie, Glenn McGrath, some of the great Aussie team,” Broad said.
“As a kid you are influenced by winning sides.
A fresh-faced Stuart Broad celebrates taking a wicket for Leicestershire in 2006. (Getty Images: Tony Marshall)
“It also built up my steeliness to want to be part of England teams that could win the Ashes after going through a whole childhood without us lifting them.”
Broad also spent six months playing for Hoppers Crossing in south-west Melbourne as a 17-year-old, another influence he claims has been crucial.
“I probably grew up with a bit more of an Australian mindset rather than a sort of England mindset of the 1990s,” Broad said.
“Going to Hoppers Crossing was a great experience.
“Opening batting, opening bowling, got into the competitive side of the Australians and loved the battle.”
It was fitting the milestone came against Australia, who went to stumps on day one of the fourth Test on 8-299.
From the moment Broad took 5-37 against them at The Oval to win England the Ashes in the 2009 decider, he has been a problem for Australia. dsfd
In all, 102 of his 149 wickets against Australia have come in England, where he averages 26.14 against them in home conditions.
The 37-year-old is perhaps the biggest reason Australia have not won an Ashes series in England since 2001.
Broad’s spell at The Oval in 2009 won England the Ashes, while his return of 11-121 at Chester-le-Street in 2013 ended any chance of Australia drawing that series.
The seamer’s finest hour, at Trent Bridge in 2015, also ended Australia’s Ashes chances in that match, his 8-15 ensuring England would win that series.
Broad has also silenced Australia’s best batsmen, famously getting David Warner’s wicket for the 16th and 17th time at Headingley earlier this month.
He has also removed former captains Steve Smith and Michael Clarke 11 times.
The fact he is leading wicket-taker in this series, with 18 at 25.94, also continues to give England hope of coming back from 2-0 down.
Bowlers with 600 Test wickets
Muttiah Muralitharan — 800
Shane Warne — 708
James Anderson — 688
Anil Kumble — 619
Stuart Broad — 600
Most wickets against Australia
Stuart Broad — 149
Ian Botham — 148
Courtney Walsh — 135
Richard Hadlee — 130
Curtly Ambrose — 128
Bob Willis — 128