• Best fast-bowling partnerships

    Last week Stuart Broad became only the fourth fast bowler to reach 500 Test wickets but since 2010 bowling partner James Anderson and he have taken the most wickets in red-ball cricket. ANDRE HUISAMEN looks at the top four pace-bowling partnerships in Test cricket over the last ten years.

    Stuart Broad & James Anderson (England)

    The Broad/Anderson partnership will go down as one of the very best in cricket history. Their statistics in the Test format will long be cited as levels for the modern-day pace bowler to try to reach. In the last decade, Anderson has taken the most wickets (451) with Broad second (433), while in total Anderson currently holds the record for the fast bowler with the most wickets (581) while Broad is fourth on the list (501). Their consistency has particularly improved over the last five years as England developed into one of the best fast-bowling teams in the world.

    Column: The maturing of Stuart Broad

    Dale Steyn & Vernon Philander (South Africa)

    As far as opening-bowling partnerships go, Steyn and Philander were a key ingredient in South Africa’s dominance in Test cricket for an extended period of time. Their ability to swing the ball into and away from batsmen made them tough to face, while the adjusting line of extra bounce also brought dividend for especially Steyn – his strike rate is also the best among Test bowlers with more than 200 wickets. Philander, on the other hand, was all about consistency and patience, and together the pair took 495 wickets since 2010. In that period, Steyn (267) bagged the third-most Test wickets as a fast bowler with Philander tenth (228). It’s fair to say their retirements have left huge voids to fill in the Proteas Test team and they will go down as one of the great partnerships in modern history.

    WATCH: Masterclass: Dale Steyn

    Trent Boult & Tim Southee (New Zealand)

    Boult and Southee have really formed one of the best pace pairs across all forms of cricket and their statistics are frighteningly similar. Up until the final Test against India back in March, they have played exactly the same number of Test matches and are separated by only two wickets. Southee just holds the lead with 269 Test scalps, while Boult is hot on his heels on 267, having often swapped places for holding the most wickets in the format. Their contributions to New Zealand’s limited-overs format teams should also not be overlooked as they helped the Black Caps to successive World Cup finals in 2015 and 2019.

    Mitchell Starc & Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

    The contributions by Starc and Hazlewood over the last five years have also heralded the coming of age of a new experienced modern-day bowling pair in both the Test and limited-overs formats. As a left-armer, Starc’s ability to swing the ball into right-handers has made him one difficult bowler to face, while his added pace can be the undoing of any batsman. Hazlewood is more focused on hitting the right line and length and has also developed a good deal of consistency over the years. Over the last decade, Starc has taken 244 Test scalps, while Hazlewood has added 195. Yet, given their young age, the pair have the opportunity to further grow into one of Test cricket’s most dangerous fast-bowling partnerships.

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    Andre Huisamen