New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee has admitted that world cricket needs India because it brings in the big bucks through television rights, sponsorships, advertising, etc. At the same time, Hadlee also hailed India for making an outstanding contribution to Test cricket. India will face New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton from June 18.
“India has made an outstanding contribution to Test cricket — in fact, all formats of the game. Their Test performances in Australia were outstanding even though they had that blip and were bowled out for 36. They bounced back superbly well, and Test cricket came alive again — it attracted a lot of interest and their performances in Australia was a remarkable achievement especially with so many youngsters having to come into the team and perform. India has a great depth of talented players in all formats of the game, waiting for their chances to be selected and show the world what they have to offer,” he added.
Asked about who he thinks will have the edge in the WTC final, Hadlee pointed out that it will be a one-off game and the team will adapts and prepares better will do well. “The Test Championship is a one-off game. Yes, it is a final, but I don’t think either team will be too fazed about it. It is a neutral ground with no home team advantage. It is something to look forward to. Both teams deserve to be contesting the final because of their consistent playing performances over a set period of time. It all comes down as to who is better prepared and who adapts better to the English conditions the quickest,” he added.
“The weather may also play a part and if it is cold that will favour New Zealand. The Duke ball will suit both team’s fast bowlers especially the genuine swing bowlers and the Kiwis are well served in that department with Southee, Boult, and Jamieson. If the ball seams around off the pitch, batsmen in both teams will be challenged. Both teams have high-class batsmen so it will be an interesting game to watch. It is too difficult to call a winner at this stage,” Hadlee went on to add.
On the the different formats of the game, Hadlee asserted that there is room for all three versions of cricket to co-exist and live together. “Test cricket is real cricket. One-day cricket is and has been an ideal format for those who want another option. T20 cricket for me is not real cricket as we know it, but a form of cricket due to all the innovative skills a batsman and bowler requires — it is a high-risk game with many limitations and few opportunities for most players to excel in and perform,” he said.
–By A Cricket Correspondent