Hadlee scouts bowling talent
Dayle Hadlee is on the hunt for Nelson's best up-and-coming bowlers.
The former New Zealand medium-pacer of the 1970s and current New Zealand Cricket bowling coach spend Thursday afternoon in the nets at Trafalgar Park with some of the region's pace bowling talent.
As well as putting them through their paces in the nets, stability drills, seam release and video analysis were on the menu for those looking to prove themselves.
Hadlee has been the head bowling coach for around a year, and this is his first trip to Nelson in this capacity.
"I want to see who they are, and tell me about themselves and what they think they need to be working on."
"I'm quite excited coming in fresh without any pre-conceptions.
"I'd rather people jump out at me than tell me how good they are," Hadlee said.
He was also looking forward to meeting some of the region's coaches, helping them with talent identification, techniques and managing bowlers' workloads.
As NZC's bowling coach, Hadlee spends a large amount of time with the Black Caps, travelling with them when they play test matches.
He is well placed to pass judgment on who is likely to fill the boots of Shane Bond, who is ineligible for selection after signing with the rebel Indian Cricket League.
"Chris Martin has already stepped up into the role ... Ian O'Brien doing the into-the-wind role extremely well; Kyle Mills is No 7 in the world in ODIs and finding his feet in tests."
He also points to the injured Wellington pair of James Franklin and Mark Gillespie to highlight the NZ bowling depth.
Hadlee bristles at suggestions injuries are holding the team back, saying that compared to Australia, our attrition rate stacks up favourably.
He identifies a dearth of quality spinners and extreme pace as areas New Zealand cricket lacks.
Being able to produce medium pacers able to exploit swing and bowl accurately for long periods is a good way of combating the lack of pace.
Hadlee is also heartened by the promise shown by the younger generation of bowlers.
A few months ago he took 19-year-old Northern Districts paceman Tim Southee, selected on Wednesday for the Twenty20 matches against England, on a trip to India, where Australian fast-bowling great Dennis Lillee rated him the best 19-year-old bowler he had seen since Glenn McGrath.
Hadlee has also been whispering in Black Caps coach John Bracewell's ear about the possibility of taking Southee on the upcoming tour of England.
And while not in that league yet, Hadlee is also keeping tabs on Nelson tearaway Richard Sherlock, recently returned from another injury lay-off.
"I'm hoping he is around, (he is) part of the future of New Zealand cricket ... as long as we can keep him fit."
The Nelson Mail