Auckland, Feb 25: New Zealand cricket legend Richard Hadlee Wednesday declared the pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult as the country's greatest ever new-ball combination.
Hadlee who played three World Cups for the Black Caps, including a semifinal in 1983 said, "I think particularly with Southee and Boult, it's our best ever new-ball combination in our history."
"The way those two bowlers complement each other, with the left and right arm and their various swing skills, they're wicket-taking bowlers. They've proved that successfully, particularly over the last 12 months," Hadlee was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.
The statements come after New Zealand made a stunning start to their World Cup campaign, winning all three of their games quite comprehensively against Sri Lanka, Scotland and England. Southee was brilliant on his outing against England as he picked up his career best figures of seven for 33.
"It's fair to say that they've come of age. They're at the top of their game at the moment. And they're young, they're going to be around a long time. That's good for New Zealand, because you've got to bowl sides out in all forms of the game, and that's what they're doing," he said.
The 63-year old praised the captaincy and the skills of Brendon McCullum who he believes leads by example. He also added that he thinks this is the best ever one-day side that the Black Caps have put together in the quadrennial event.
"The way that he's (McCullum) captained the side has been inspirational. The way that he fields and leads the side in the field, he puts his body on the line, and his batting ability as well, if he can put all three things together, the other players will follow that," Hadlee said.
"What they're doing now, the way they're playing, the fact the country has got in behind them. I think these lads are probably the best ever one-day side that we've put together in a World Cup competition," he added.