September 18, 2000

Hadlee pleased with execution of Test win

The man who played in 22 of New Zealand's Test cricket victories was pleased with the way the Black Caps provided him with a first up win as convener of the national selection panel.

New Zealand completed a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe at Bulawayo on Saturday.

Sir Richard Hadlee assumed his new role during the winter after coming in cold, having not been either a provincial or national selector. He had been on the fringes of the game working as a sponsorship cricket ambassador and as a newspaper columnist.

He heads a new panel which also includes former convener Ross Dykes, former Canterbury selection convener Brian McKechnie and coach David Trist.

"Considering all the draws at Bulawayo it looked as if Zimbabwe tried to play it that way again," Hadlee said.

"But New Zealand increased the tempo of the game with some purposeful bowling in Zimbabwe's second innings. There were some outstanding individual contributions and New Zealand went 1-0 up from what looked like it was going to be a nothing game," he said.

What pleased him was that New Zealand clearly wanted to play winning cricket.

"They want to be as positive as they can, and it was a team performance. You look at Matthew Horne's century, Paul Wiseman's bowling in the first innings and Chris Cairns' bowling in the second," he said.

The effort of Wiseman, who finished the Test with eight wickets for 144 runs was especially pleasing.

"He has come on tremendously since last season. He has a lot more confidence in himself and there is a lot more confidence in him from the captain.

"Stephen Fleming is using him now as a strategic option and with Daniel Vettori's injury he is now our No 1 spinner. He has rejuvenated his career," he said.

Vettori's replacement by Central Districts all-rounder Glen Sulzberger sent out a very clear message to other players that they did not have to be products of the Brierley Investments Limited (BIL) Academy to win selection in the national side.

"If you take your opportunities, the chance is there. Glen is a prime example of that. He took his chance in England with New Zealand 'A', moreso with the ball and he is a multi-skilled player and is able to make more than one contribution to the side," Hadlee said.