Hadlee: England are ‘ripe for the picking’


New Zealand cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee has full confidence in the Black Caps leading up to their first Test against England at Lord's, saying the Kiwis are fully prepared and can bag a whitewash.

The Black Caps will aim to break a 16-year winless streak in the UK, but they are the stronger and more cohesive side over the past year, with England battling poor form, a skipper without many runs, and off-field drama.

Hadlee thinks England are in the perfect state to lose, even though they're on home soil, and feels that if his countrymen have enough confidence, they can overcome the hosts convincingly.

Hadlee told the Daily Telegraph: "I think England are there for the picking. If we play to our potential we can win. Self-belief is important because it has been a long time since we have won in England so history shows we are up against it, but we have all bases covered."

When asked about Alastair Cook's poor form over the past two years, and his captaincy tactics, Hadlee felt the Kiwi fast bowlers would be looking forwards to continuing Cook's misery with the bat.

He added: "There is no question he will be the target of Southee and Boult putting incredible pressure on him.

"When you compare Cook and (New Zealand skipper Brendon) McCullum, it's apples and pears as captains. McCullum is so attacking and proactive whereas Cook is a more conservative captain.

"That is not a criticism. He is very thoughtful in the way he goes about his job as captain but clearly he is under pressure.

"If that is a chink in the England armour then New Zealand will look to exploit it."