सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

Statistically best of all fast bowlers, and excellent in terms of control and intelligence

By Harsh Thakor 

Richard Hadlee is the greatest cricketer ever to have set foot on a cricket field from New Zealand, who shaped his country into major cricketing power. Few cricketing colossuses have played the role of a one man army as Sir Richard. or manifested cricketing computer, skill and artistry, more.
Richard Hadlee was born in a cricketing family. His father Walter Hadlee was a lanky, bespectacled opening batsman who represented Canterbury who toured England and Australia after the Second World War, and led his country in eight Tests. He also played role of the president of the New Zealand Cricket Council. His greatest contribution to New Zealand cricket was his producing five sons of cricketing talent, three of whom played for the national team and one who rose above all other cricketers ever produced by the tiny nation.
In the 1975 World Cup, Barry Hadlee played as a batsman, Dayle Hadlee as an opening bowler and Richard Hadlee as a tearaway pacer. By early 1972, he had opened the bowling for Canterbury and had taken a hat-trick against Central Districts in his third week as a First-Class cricketer.
In February 1972, Hadlee made his test debut; capturing 2 for 112, which was hardly a sensational start, though he compensated it with a quick fire 46 with the bat. The selectors opted for brother Dayle for the next two Tests of the series.
In 1973 he toured England playing in just one Test. However, in the latter half of the summer he did enough in the tour games he excelled. It sowed seeds to turn him into one of the greatest of all time and New Zealand into a formidable side because of the one man who made all the difference.


If pure figures were the criteria, Richard Hadlee would arguably rate as the best fast bowler ever. In spite of spearheading or bearing the brunt of the weakest of attacks or teams,Hadlee averaged 22.29, capturing 431 wickets in 86 tests , at a strike rate of 50.9 and captured a five wicket haul on 36 occasions ,and 10 wicket hauls ,a record 7 times.
In his peak era from 1978-1989, Hadlee captured 330 wickets in 60 test matches, with a strike rate around 47 and an average around 19.Hadlee's number of five and 10 wicket hauls, and haul of scalps in peak era, surpass the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Dennis Lillee and Imran Khan. Glen Mcgrath, Wasim Akram or Curtly Ambrose do not match Hadlee’s 5 and 10 wicket hauls in test matches.
In the Kiwi wins, Hadlee’s contribution was meritorious In 22 won Tests; he captured 173 wickets at 13.06, better than any bowler with 100 or more wickets in victories. However he did not perform as well in defeats, though he captured 94 wickets at 21.71 from those 28 losses. He captured 36% of the opposition wickets to fall in all Tests, and almost 41% in the victories.
On the home New Zealand tracks, he captured p 201 scalps at 22.96. In away venues he reaped richer rewards, with 230 scalps at 21.72. On the lifeless wickets of the subcontinent, he captured 68 at 21.58 in 13 Tests. In ODI cricket Hadlee was highly effective averaging 21.62 taking 158 wickets.
Hadlee was more than useful batsmen, who has a century against West Indies to his name, and scored some of the most effective quickfire fifties. Although he scored 3.124 runs, averaging 27.17 with the bat, on his day he could match the likes of high class batsmen. Hadlee scored 15 fifties and 2 centuries. I can never forget his blazing 86 from a mere 84 balls, at Lords, in 1990.

Bowling skill

No paceman possessed better control or was more effective or lethal on a green top .Hadlee simply resembled a computerized machine who mastered the weaknesses of his opponents. Few were ever more rhythmic. For most of his career he bowled at fast-medium. Few bowlers ever had as classical a sideways on action, inspite of a short run up, of a mere 15 paces.Even if basically fast-medium he was as lethal as the best ever. No pace bowler more clinically, craftily or classically made ball leave the bat. Consistently none more was an embodiment of bowling machine, than Hadlee. The out swinger and leg-cutter were a frequent part of his repertoire, which were both perfection personified. Later he added an ineffective in swinger to his armoury..He brilliantly blended the in swinger with an out swinger and propelled the ball to land on the seam, cutting it both ways, like noon else. With brilliant foresight he would slip in a most unexpected bouncer.
No paceman bar Glen Mcgrath was as consistently pitching the ball in the corridor, to entice a batsman. Hadlee was an architect in New Zealand beating every side in the world between 1979-1984.Very few bowlers in cricket history so single-handedly won test series for their country.
In February 1972, Hadlee made his test debut; capturing 2 for 112, which was hardly a sensational start , though he compensated it with a quick fire 46 with the bat. The selectors opted for brother Dayle for the next two Tests of the series. In 1973 he toured England playing in just one Test. However, in the latter half of the summer he did enough in the tour games he excelled. It sowed seeds to turn him into one of the greatest of all time and New Zealand into a formidable side because of the one man who made all the difference.
In 1973-74, at Sydney, Hadlee’s 4 for 33 and 2 for 16 wrecked Australia led by Ian Chapell, but rain came to the rescue of the home team .. However, in March 1974, Hadlee produced 3 for 59 and 4 for 71 at Christchurch to give the Kiwis their first taste of victory over the trans-Tasman neighbours. In home and away series against India in 1976, Hadlee took control and accuracy to superlative heights. His 7-23 at Dunedin, simply rattled India.
When taking 6-26 against England at wellington in 1977-78 at Dunedin Hadlee bowled with the conviction of an invincible emperor, epitomising seam bowing craft in regions rarely penetrated. One got a sensation of a spell being pre-meditated, with Hadlee making ball dart across both ways ,as almost nobody ever.
In 1979-80 in a series at home against West Indies his 19 wickets were instrumental in the Kiwis toppling the world champions, against all odds. He simply made the likes of Greenidge, Haynes Lloyd and Kalicharan tremble.
In1980-81 in Australia Hadlee was the heroic man of the series, inspite of his side facing a 2-0 loss, capturing 19 wickets at 19.15.vIn 1983 taking 21 scalps in England and 1986 capturing 19 in England he had the English batsmen hopping all over the place, unable to come to terms with his phenomenal control and late movement. Simply, consistency personified. In 1986 Hadlee captured 19 wickets, including six first innings wickets at Lord’s and 10 at Nottingham in the victory that ensured a series win. It was the first time New Zealand had ever won a series in England.
In home and away series against India in 1976, Hadlee took control and accuracy to superlative heights. His 7-23 at Dunedin, simply rattled India. In a 1985 home series against Pakistan, Hadlee took 19 scalps at average of 19.12, which was remarkable. In West Indies in 1985, although he only took 15 scalps at average of around 27, he was ever accurate against possibly the best team ever.
In 1985-86 in Australia Richard Hadlee possibly manifested pace bowling skill or manifested in zones never traversed, when capturing a record 33 scalps. His haul of 9-52 and 6-57 at Brisbane epitomised fast bowling virtuosity in heights possibly unscaled. It was simply a spectacle witnessing how the batsmen were forced to play at balls or perplexed. Control of a cricket ball transcended regions untouched, making batsmen flounder as never before
In 1987 he captured match-winning 9 wicket haul at Christchurch against a top West Indies team while in 1988-89 he all but won a test at Melbourne with a 10 wicket haul, being robbed by a defiant last wicket partnership of Mike Whitney and Craig Mcdermott. In India, in 1988-89, Hadlee on flat tracks was simply a metronome, taking 18 wickets at very low cost. At times, the best Indian batsmen floundered.


Hadlee's drawback was that on flat or unhelpful tracks, he possibly lacked the repertoire or weapons of bowlers like Lillee, Wasim or Marshall. This was revealed in 1987, when representing Rest of the World against MCC.Like Lillee,he could not fall back on leg-cutter or like Marshall extract pace or bounce. He also went into a defensive mode, in West Indies, when being attacked, in 1985.In my personal view although more classical Hadlee did not outthink opponents in the manner of Glen Mcgrath ,who would conquer all conditions.Hadlee lacked the aggression or explosiveness of a Malcolm Marshall,Imran Khan ,Curtly Ambrose or Dennis Lillee.He also did not prove his craft on unhelpful sub continent tracks like Kapil Dev, Andy Roberts or Wasim Akram.
Hadlee averaged an expensive 44.70 in tests in Pakistan and was expbsive in India in 1976-7 averaging 33.61. His outstanding record in the sub-continent is due to his efforts in Sri Lanka in 1984 and India in 1988-89.
Weighing all factors, I would place Hadlee in the top 5 test match bowlers at all time, at 4th place, behind Marshall, Lillee and McGrath.and ahead of Wasim Akram ,Imran Khan and Curtly Ambrose.In respect to pure skill Hadlee would comprise my top 8.of all-time .A whisker would not seperate Hadlee from Ambrose and McGrath. I feel Hadlee still lacked the versatility or all-round skill of Andy Roberts,Ray Lindwall,Dennis Lillee ,Malcolm Marshalll and Wasim Akram.
I rank Dennis Lillee ahead of Hadlee, considering his 105 scalps at five wickets per game in unofficial tests, against top class opposition, including 79 in World Series cricket from 1977-79.He also overshadowed Hadlee against West Indies and in England. Hadlee’s possessing the best ever average in matches won with bowlers with 100 scalps of around 13, reflects his contribution. Still only around 40% of his test wickets were in winning causes, less than likes of Marshall,Lillee, Mcgrath,Wasim and Ambrose.
Hadlee was an architect in New Zealand beating every side in the world between 1979-1984.Very few bowlers in cricket history so single-handedly won test series for their country or shared their nation into major cricketing power. Frequently, Hadlee , was the recipient of a man of the series award,even in losing causes.
As a pure allrounder, debatably, at his best in the 1980’s, he was the best allrounder in the world .Overall,he was a worthy contender to stars like Ian Botham ,Imran Khan or Kapil Dev. For selection in a world XI in the mid-1980’s he was a certainty, arguably more meritorious than even Ian Botham or Kapil Dev.
Possibly I would select him in my all-time XI to join Sir Gary Sobers, with his batting prowess. ,and his control being an ideal accomplice to the movement of Wasim Akram. Very hard to analyse how Hadlee would have performed had he played for a champion side, like Glen Mcgrath or Malcom Marshall. It could have worked either way.
Overall ,as a cricketer, adding ODI's, to me, Hadlee would rank ,just a whisker below Wasim Akram and a whisker ahead of Kapil Dev .Cristopher Mratin Jenkins places Hadlee at 25th place in his best 100,while Geoff Armstrong puts him at 14th position and David Gower at 25th place. In Australian conditions, with Curtly Ambrose I rank Hadlee as the best overseas pace bowler ever. His record is simply impeccable, taking 77 wickets at 17.83 in 12 test matches.
Nine cricketers selected Hadlee in their all time XI, including Alan Donald,Kapil Dev, Joel Garner, Arjuna Ranatunga ,Mohammad Azharuddin ,Bishen Bedi, David Boon ,Aravinda De'Silva and Zaheer Abbas.


After retirement Hadlee was a prominent member of the cricket media, and later assumed the role the chairman of New Zealand’s selectors The new cricketing responsibilities did not witness his bearing similar pressures that he bore with him during his playing days.
Hadlee has been a very astute judge of the game. He chose Greg Chappell as the most complete, Viv Richards as the most domineering, Boycott the most technically correct and Gavaskar, the statistical giant. Hadlee regarded Tendulkar as the best of all batsmen, and chose Ian Botham, Viv Richards, Barry Richards, Graeme Pollock and Dennis Lillee in his all-time team. Hadlee had no hesitation in voting Dennis Lillee, as the best ever pace bowler.
Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has extensively researched cricket



हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

ગુજરાતના સ્થાપના દિવસે યાદ કરીએ ભારતના વિશ્વપ્રસિદ્ધ ગુજરાતી પુરાતત્વવિદ્ ને

- ગૌરાંગ જાની*  આજે કોઈ ગુજરાતી એ કલ્પના પણ ન કરી શકે કે વર્ષ ૧૮૩૯ માં જૂનાગઢમાં જન્મેલા એક ગુજરાતી વિશ્વ પ્રસિદ્ધ બની શકે! પણ આપણે એ ગુજરાતીને કદાચ વિસરી ગયા છીએ જેમણે ગિરનારના અશોક શિલાલેખને દોઢસો વર્ષ પૂર્વે ઉકેલી આપ્યો.આ વિદ્વાન એટલે ભગવાનલાલ ઈન્દ્રજી. ૭ નવેમ્બર, ૧૮૩૯ ના દિવસે જૂનાગઢના પ્રશ્નોરા નાગર બ્રાહ્મણ પરિવારમાં તેમનો જન્મ થયો હતો. જૂનાગઢના એ સમયે અંગ્રેજી શિક્ષણની સગવડ ન હોવાને કારણે તેમને અંગ્રેજી ભાષાનું જ્ઞાન ન હતું પણ પાછળથી તેમણે ખપ પૂરતું અંગ્રેજી જાણી લીધું હતું.

Under Modi, democracy is regressing and economy is also growing slowly

By Avyaan Sharma*   India is "the largest democracy in the world", but now its democracy is regressing and its economy is also growing slowly. What has PM Modi's ten years in power brought us? Unemployment remains high. Joblessness is particularly high among India's youth - with those aged 15 to 29 making up a staggering 83% of all unemployed people in India, according to the "India Employment Report 2024", published last month by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD). The BJP-led government did not provide jobs to two crore youth in a year as was promised by Modi in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

रैंकिंग: अधिकांश भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिरा, इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी

- प्रमोद रंजन*  अप्रैल, 2024 में भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उच्च रैंकिंग की चर्चा रही। मीडिया ने इसका उत्सव मनाया। लेकिन स्थिति इसके विपरीत है। वैश्विक विश्वविद्यालय रैंकिग में अच्छा स्थान मिलने की खबरें, कुछ संस्थानों को इक्का-दुक्का विषयों में मिले रैंक के आधार पर चुनिंदा ढंग से प्रकाशित की गईं थीं। वास्तविकता यह है कि हाल के वर्षों में हमारे अधिकांश विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिर गया है। इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी रही है।

प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने कुछ परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली: प्रमुख प्रस्थापनायें

- राणा सिंह   भारत में परजीवियों का एक विशाल समूह है जो बोलता है कि “सब कुछ माया है”,  लेकिन व्यवहार में यह समूह सारी जिंदगी इसी “माया” के पीछे पागल रहता है।  प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने इन परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली थी।

नोएडा में मैन्युअल स्कैवेंजर्स की मौत: परिवारों को मुआवजा नहीं, प्राधिकरण ने एफआईआर नहीं की

- अरुण खोटे, संजीव कुमार*  गत एक सप्ताह में, उत्तर प्रदेश में सीवर/सेप्टि क टैंक सफाई कर्मियों की सफाई के दौरान सेप्टिक टैंक में मौत। 2 मई, 2024 को, लखनऊ के वज़ीरगजं क्षेत्र में एक सेवर लाइन की सफाई करते समय शोब्रान यादव, 56, और उनके पत्रु सशुील यादव, 28, घटुन से हुई मौत। एक और घटना 3 मई 2024 को नोएडा, सेक्टर 26 में एक घर में सेप्टि क टैंक को सफाई करते समय दो सफाई कर्मचर्मारी नूनी मडंल, 36 और कोकन मडंल जिसे तपन मडंल के नाम से जानते हैं, की मौत हो गई। ये सफाई कर्मचर्मारी बंगाल के मालदा जिले के निवासी थे और नोएडा सेक्टर 9 में रहते थे। कोकन मडंल अपनी पत्नी अनीता मडंल के साथ रहते थे। इनके तीन स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे हैं जो बंगाल में रहते हैं। नूनी मडंल अपनी पत्नी लिलिका मडंल और अपने पत्रु सजुान के साथ किराए पर झग्गी में रहते थे। वे दैनिक मजदरूी और सफाई कर्मचर्मारी के रूप में काम करते थे।

दाँव उल्टा पड़ा: राहुल गांधी के रूप में हम एक साधारण इंसान को नायक होते देख रहे हैं

-  अमिता नीरव  संघ औऱ बीजेपी ने राहुल गाँधी पर जो सोचकर ‘इन्वेस्ट’ किया था, उसके परिणाम गंभीर रूप से नुकसानदेह आ रहे हैं। ये थोड़ी अटपटी बात लग सकती है, लेकिन सोचिएगा कि संघ और बीजेपी ने राहुल गाँधी को जितना गंभीरता से लिया, उनकी संभावनाओं को लेकर वे जितना श्योर थे, उतना तो खुद राहुल और कांग्रेस भी नहीं थी।

बिहार के ऐतिहासिक विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय के खंडहरों की परिक्रमा का रोमांचक अवसर

- सुमन्त शरण  कुछ दिन पहले एक सुदूर ग्रामीण अंचल (पीरपैंती)  से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटे की दूरी पर अवस्थित ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय (के अवशेषों) की परिक्रमा का अवसर मिला। विक्रमशीला विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना पाल वंश के राजा धर्मपाल ने की थी। 8वीं शताब्दी से 12वीं शताब्दी के अंत तक यह विश्वविद्यालय भारत के प्रमुख शिक्षा केंद्रों में से एक हुआ करता था। कहा जाता है कि यह अपने कुछेक अत्यंत अनूठे नवाचार के चलते उस समय नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का सबसे बड़ा प्रतिस्पर्धी था। हालांकि, मान्यता यह भी है कि अल्प अवधि के लिए दोनों विश्वविद्यालय के बीच शिक्षण एवं प्रबंधन के क्षेत्रों में घनिष्ठ पारस्परिक संबंध एवं शिक्षकों के आदान-प्रदान का सिलसिला भी रहा था। यह विश्वविद्यालय तंत्रशास्त्र की पढ़ाई के लिए सबसे ज्यादा विख्यात था। इस विषय का एक सबसे विख्यात छात्र अतीसा दीपनकरा था, जो बाद में तिब्बत जाकर बौद्ध हो गया। इसके प्रथम कुलपति ज्ञान अतिस थे।