England fighting back to win South Africa series would be one of my best accomplishments, says Stuart Broad

Will Macpherson
England lead 2-1 going into Friday's final Test at the Wanderers: Getty Images

Stuart Broad believes that a series win over South Africa would rank among the most special of his 12-year Test career.

England lead 2-1 going into Friday’s final Test at the Wanderers, where Broad took six for 17 to seal the series in 2016.

At training on Thursday, England will decide whether to pair the fit-again Jofra Archer and Mark Wood in their fastest attack for years on a pitch that is expected to have pace and bounce.

Archer has missed the last two Tests with an elbow injury, while Wood made a successful return to the team in the victory at Port Elizabeth.

If the pair come through today’s nets session, Archer could come into the side for Sam Curran or Dom Bess if England opt for a five-man pace attack.

Archer expected to come back into the side. (AFP via Getty Images)

It has been a tumultuous tour for ­England, with a sickness bug sweeping the camp for the first fortnight, three frontline players leaving with injury or illness and five players under 24 featuring in the same XI in the last two matches. Broad says that would make it a particularly special series win if they are successful at the Wanderers.

“The first two weeks were pretty ­brutal,” Broad told talkSport. “Fourteen players going down with a bug leading into a Test match week was pretty tough. Then you have to deal with a loss and everything that comes with that and bounce back.

“I think the unity gathered by everyone did a lot for us. To put in two strong performances like we have is great.

“I would expect [the Wanderers] to be a result pitch, so one team is winning and one is losing. If we could win the series, that would mean a huge amount to this young group. They are the ones who have delivered in this series. That could have great effects for a long time.

“We lost at Centurion but we knew we were in the series and that once we were fit and healthy we could apply more pressure. The last two performances have been very memorable.”

Broad was excited by the possibility of Archer and Wood joining him in the same attack for the first time.

“We don’t know what the pitch looks like or what balance of side we will go with,” said Broad. “We have put the South Africa batsmen under pressure on any type of surface.

“You would expect this pitch to bounce as it usually does, but you have to bowl well here, you can’t bowl wide or too short.”

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