Hadlee tips India to become 'best' in all forms of the game

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) Former New Zealand great Richard Hadlee believes that the current Indian team has the potential to reach the pinnacle and said the way Australians have been challenged and overpowered by India in recent times, the day is not far.

''India can well be the number one team in all forms of the game and they have emerged as a real force in world cricket,'' Hadlee said here today.

Hadlee, who has been named as the brand ambassador for the Delhi Half Marathon, backed India to go on and win the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

He said the win would give hope and motivation to the struggling New Zealand team, which will take on Australia in a Test series that begins from November 21.

''We saw the West Indies being there at the top for a long long time and in the last one decade Australians have been far superior to other teams.

''But yes, the Indian team has shown it and a win here against Australia could raise a few hopes in the New Zealand team for the upcoming Test series. Even they would think 'Yes', we can also beat them,'' he said.

The 57-year-old Hadlee, who has 431 Test wicket to his name from 86 matches, said the modern-day cricket has produced better spinners and that is why the spinners find their name at the top in list of highest wicket-takers these days.

''These are the signs that cricket is changing and it is played in different parts of the world. You have bowlers like Warne, Murlitharan and Harbhajan, who just picked up his 300th wicket.

''They all have become match winners and the variety that has come in spin bowling is something that has made it an essential part of the game,'' he added.

Hadlee, who himself retired at the age of 39, opined that the players should be given their space and time to think when to call it a day.

''You should give respect to the players who have served your country for such a long time. They are the best judge to decide when to retire and for how long to play,'' he said.

The all-rounder further feels that the New Zealand Cricket, which is going through a real torrid time after a good number of players signed up for the rebel ICL, will take time to reach the stage where it used to be at one point of time.

''I think New Zealand Cricket has been hit hardest by ICL. There were players Shane Bond, Criag McMillian, Lou Vincent, Darrel Tuffey and many others who were an integeral part of the team.

''But that is not their fault because of the money that they were offered. But I think it will be a challenge for the young players to fill in the huge gap that been created by the loss of these players,'' he noted.

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