Stuart Broad, a veteran of over 200 matches for England, has accumulated a lot of international experience over the last six years. And, he has now just won the Ashes for a third time, but who is the best player he has ever played with - or against for that matter?
There were a number of other revelations discovered when the tall bowler spoke to AskMen in the build-up to the fourth Test at Durham, which begins this Friday.
Broad's 65 when his side were up against the wall at Trent Bridge, showed that he is fearless when it comes to facing quick and aggressive bowlers. And he has now proved that he is just as comfortable facing probing questions.
Over the course of 60 Test matches, the Nottinghamshire all-rounder has played against some of the world's greatest ever batsman - Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ricky Ponting to name but a few.
But it is the Australian who takes the award for toughest opponent: "I found Ricky Ponting the hardest to bowl to and it was a great pleasure to play against him as he was genuinely one of the best that’s ever played and a really tough competitor as well. He hated you when you were on the field but he always shook your hand and was the epitome of play hard but play fair."
As he explains, the Tasmanian Devil could have a fierce temper - which he demonstrated when he was run-out in the 2005 Ashes series - but he didn't let that get in the way of playing cricket in the correct manner.
During Broad's Test tenure, England rose to the top of the world rankings in a golden era. And Broad was surrounded by quality players who enabled that to be achieved.
Nottinghamshire teammate and fellow bowler Graeme Swann has been highlighted as the most talented player that Broad has accompanied over the boundary rope.
"The best player I’ve played with would be Graeme Swann, just because England hadn’t really had a wicket-taking spinner for so long and he came in and showed that regular finger-spinners can take wickets in international cricket," he continued.
"There have been a lot of spinners take wickets who’ve been quite unorthodox but Swanny is an orthodox off-spinner and he’s had huge success. He’s brought an amazing balance to the England side in that he can take wickets on the first day of a Test match which is quite different so a lot of our recent success in the last 4 or 5 years has been down to the balance he brings to the team."
He was also tasked with the difficult proposition regarding which England side was better: the 2005 squad, or the current one? Broad negotiated with great diplomacy, pointing out the unique attributes of each team.
"We’ve got guys who have scored some of the most hundreds for England in the likes of KP and Alastair Cook and we’ve got guys who’ve taken a huge amount of wicket as well. Sometimes it’s quite hard in England to say that we’re a good side because of our culture but we’ve done really well," Broad added.
"I don’t think you can compare it to ’05 particularly as they’re slightly different eras and the make-up is slightly different, for example with Fred they had four seam-bowlers. We’ve had some great success and our Test wins on the bounce against Australia highlight how strong we are at the moment."
In 2005, England defeated an Australia side at the top of their game, whereas this time around, the visitors are clearly a unit deep in transition. Nevertheless, England's success over the last few years has been unprecedented since the arrival of Andy Flower, and Broad has always been a key part of that. He's also had the honour of captaining both the One-Day and T20 sides.
For the left-handed batsman, the question regarding the high-point of his career is pretty much a no-brainer.
"Highlight probably has to be the 2009 Ashes win at the Oval - to take 5 wickets to help the side win the Test match was a massive highlight of my career and probably a bit of a kick-start to my international career so I always look back to four years ago with very fond memories," he said.
That inspirational spell four summers ago at one stage read four wickets for just eight runs, and his intervention was key to England once again retaining the Ashes on home soil.
This series victory may not have been clinched so dramatically, but the 27-year-old is still pleased to be part of such a successful set-up.
He concluded: "When we’re in trouble guys stand up and score runs, guys stand up and take wickets and not every England cricketer in the last 40 years can say they’ve played in a side that was full of fantastic cricketers."
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