Cricketers pick their favourites

'The best of the corridor bowlers'

Part six: Geoffrey Boycott on the difficulty posed by Richard Hadlee's pace and accuracy (00:00)

Producer: Ranjit Shinde

March 13, 2012


Richard Hadlee

'The best of the corridor bowlers'

March 13, 2012

Richard Hadlee in his delivery stride, England v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day, August 7, 1986
Hadlee: gave the batsman very little time to decide how to play him © PA Photos

Richard Hadlee of New Zealand - I first came across him when he was a young tearaway fast bowler. He used to charge in and bowl as fast as he could. He had pace, but he wasn't quite accurate enough to be put in the really top echelon.

Then at a stage of his career, he was invited to play for Nottinghamshire in county cricket in England. He found in a Sunday League match - where you had to bowl of a short run because then it was 40 overs, and you had to get these over fairly quickly - that off a shortish run he could bowl nearly as quick as he tried to bowl off a long run, but he had much better control. He has always been able to swing the ball out and nip it back a bit. And I think he then became a great bowler. Because he is the best, I think, with pace. He's been able to bowl in the corridor of uncertainty, I call it, successfully, repeatedly and cause problems.

If you can get the ball on off stump, off and middle, four inches outside, on that just short-of-a-length area, and make the ball nip around, swing out, swing in a little bit, then you will cause problems and get wickets. Because the batsman - we can't get our pad as our second line of defence if it starts to go out. We have got to decide very quickly, if it is bowled at pace, on a number of things. Shall I play it? Shall I leave it? Shall I play forward? Shall I play back? Shall I hit or defend it? We have almost got six decisions to make in a fraction of a second. And if somebody's bowling it just outside off stump at pace, sooner or later, law of averages is that you are going to make a mistake.

I think he was the best corridor bowler I have ever played against or seen, at pace - not medium pace, very sharp. I worked on a principle when I played against him that he would probably bowl about eight overs with the new ball, because he conserved his energy. He has a beautiful, flowing, rhythmical action. I'd be lucky if I got one half-volley in that eight overs, and I better hit it.

I thought he was a majestic bowler.

Play Video
'Swann could bowl length blindfolded'

Sep 6, 2014 Part four: Erapalli Prasanna on a thoroughbred professional whose basics were extraordinarily strong (05:31)

Play Video
'Murali always looked to clean-bowl a batsman'

Sep 6, 2014 Part three: Erapalli Prasanna on what made Muralitharan unique, apart from his unusual and deceptive action (05:13)

Play Video
Sehwag's golden duck

Highlights: Plays of the day from the Champions League match between Kings XI Punjab and Hobart Hurricanes (01:06) | Sep 18, 2014

Play Video
'We can take a lot of positives' - Wright

Press Conference: Hobart Hurricanes coach Damien Wright was in an upbeat mood despite his side's five-wicket defeat to Kings XI Punjab in their opening game of this year's CLT20 tournament, at Mohali (00:22) | Sep 18, 2014

Play Video
'Bowlers did an outstanding job' - Bailey

Interviews: Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey reserved praise for his bowlers after they managed to keep the Hobart Hurricanes down to 144 as his team won by five wickets in their first game in this year's CLT20, at Mohali (00:26) | Sep 18, 2014