sport news It will take a long time to find another Cook, Broad or Anderson... critics ...

Those who think it might be time for three of the greats of the English game in Alastair Cook, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad to be eased towards the Test exit door should be careful what they wish for.

There just seems to have been some uncertainty surrounding all three at various points in recent times but we are talking about once in a generation cricketers who will be seriously hard to replace.

England should be trying to get every ounce of cricket they can squeeze out of them and keep them going for as long as they can because it will take a long time to find another Cook, Anderson or Broad.

Stuart Broad was among the senior  England players to perform well at Headingley

Stuart Broad was among the senior  England players to perform well at Headingley

Broad and Anderson should be allowed to keep playing as they will be difficult to replace

Broad and Anderson should be allowed to keep playing as they will be difficult to replace

When I became captain in 1999, with England going through a similar rough patch to this one, there were voices in selection who would tell me people like Alec Stewart, Graham Thorpe and Mike Atherton should go.

But I wanted a group of senior players to keep taking us forward rather than just start again with youngsters and the key is whether any older player still has the will, desire and hunger to make a difference for their country.

You do not end up with a record like Cook’s or Anderson’s without making sacrifices and being prepared to put in the hard yards and there appears no indication that any of the three are losing their powers.

Broad was at a low point after the Ashes and hadn’t bowled particularly well for some time but he acknowledged he had a problem, where his wrist was coming down the side of the ball, and went away on his own to solve it.

He is also clearly listening to what the coaches want him to do because, of all England’s bowlers at Lord’s and here, Broad was the one trying to pitch the ball up that little bit fuller. He wants to play for England for as long as possible.

Anderson did not bowl particularly well

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