Stuart Broad is set to win his 100th Test cap when England face India this week, but says he would not have been so fortunate bowling in a bygone era.
Broad, 30, who made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2007, credits the selectors, who he believes are more patient than in the 1970s or 80s.
He says things were different when his dad Chris made his Test debut in 1984.
“I feel very fortunate I’ve played in an era where selectors have looked after players,” Broad told BBC Sport.
“They almost pick characters and techniques that they feel will succeed at international cricket.”
Broad struggled on his debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo, conceding 95 runs for one wicket, but has since gone on to take 360 Test wickets at an average of 28.48.
“There’s no doubt if I was a bowler in the 70s or 80s there’s a huge chance I’d have played two or three Test matches,” he said.
Broad, like his father, was predominantly a batsman until the age of 17, when he says he “grew a foot in a year” and within two and a half years was bowling for England.
“It was quite a quick rise and I did a lot of my learning playing international cricket, which is quite a tough thing to do,” added the Nottinghamshire right-armer.
“My first 15 to 20 Tests I was almost fourth seamer with Freddie Flintoff in the side, thrown the ball when nothing was happening – trying to make something happen.
“When you become more experienced in the team you get given the responsibility to bowl at the better times, bowl with the new ball, and that makes a big difference.”
‘I wouldn’t be here without Jimmy’
Broad praised the role of England’s leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson, 34, in his own rise to the top.
Anderson, who has taken 463 wickets since making his Test debut in 2003, is set to join the squad before the first Test in Rajkot following a shoulder injury.
“There is no way I would be sat here without Jimmy Anderson, because every bowler needs a partner that you feed off,” said Broad.
“The amount I have learned from him. The amount of spells I’ve taken wickets that I’ve owed to him, where he has created pressure at the other end.
“There is no doubt the partnership has gone from strength to strength in the past five years and he has become a friend for life as well.
“I owe a huge amount to Jimmy and hopefully I have got a few more years learning off him. We have always talked and tried to learn off each other, but we have never had that competiveness against each other.”
Broad will be “extremely proud” to win his 100th cap but is keen to play down his own achievements this week, instead focusing on the first Test against India.
“It’s going to be an exciting week,” he added. “It’s a huge game. We all know how important it is to start well in India.
“I’m only 30 and it’s another game really. I’ve got a lot of things to achieve. I want to play for a lot more Test matches.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37884835