New Zealand in good shape for World Cup: Hadlee

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Auckland, Jan 17 (IANS) New Zealand cricket legend Richard Hadlee has voiced optimism about the country’s chances in the upcoming World Cup, which is being co-hosted with Australia.

“We’re in pretty good shape, there’s some good depth but the bottom line is you’ve got to perform over a sustained period of time and that’s what all the team’s have to do,” Hadlee was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday.

“But it will be a good World Cup. There’s about four or five teams with a real shot.”

Hadlee was similarly optimistic about skipper Brendon McCullum continuing his recent rich vein of form but also warned the team against overburdening him with expectations, saying that others should also rise to the task.

McCullum has scores of 117 and 51 in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka after hitting 195 against them in the Boxing Day Test last month.

“He’s going through a dream period that sportspeople will have from time to time so he’s cashing in. He’s scoring double hundreds, triple hundreds (against India last February) and one-day hundreds,” Hadlee said.

“At the moment he’s in wonderful nick and he’s an inspirational player and he really needs the support of others around him. If everyone can contribute they’re going to win a lot of games.”

The owner of 431 wickets from 86 Tests also expressed his satisfaction with New Zealand’s preparation for the tournament.

Former Australia Test skipper Bill Lawry recently identified the team as the “dark horses” of the competition and the former seamer was in agreement with the Australian great.

“Every four years there’s pressure on all the players due to the expectations, but if that’s what some people in Australia believe, well, good luck to them. But it’s up to the 15 guys to do that and they will have a lot of support in New Zealand,” he remarked.

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