Richard Hadlee vs Kapil Dev: Both are brilliant cricketers in their own day. It’s difficult to compare. But a few points may give us a better idea of their caliber.
Here is Richard Hadlee
Stamina: It’s really difficult to fault. When you play in the kind of conditions Richard Hadlee used to in India, you need ample stamina just to survive. He has had some injury niggles but keeps coming back, so he must be rated for his ability to recover and for his capacity for hard work.
Experience: There has been no shortage of test experience since his debut against Pakistan in 1978–79, when he was a teenager. Has crammed a lot of test cricket into a short period, but, unlike the others, all-rounders have only limited county experience through brief stints with Northamptonshire and Worcestershire.
Temperament:Richard Hadlee can be a little fiery and hot-headed. He must be vulnerable on this score in view of some of the problems he’s had with Indian authorities and his subsequent loss of the captaincy. He can be upset and, if niggled, will react, which is not unusual for Indian and Pakistani players who tend to be somewhat excitable.
Dedication: He came into test cricket as a youngster and has fulfilled all his early promises. So he must be fairly dedicated. A lot of players can burn them out and lose interest when so much is asked of them so soon, but Kapil Dev has survived. That’s a tribute to his tireless devotion to his profession.
Captaincy: He didn’t achieve too much as an Indian captain, although there have been so many captains through the years that he was never given the real benefit of developing into the position.
Here is Kapil Dev.
Batting: Kapil Dev is an exciting strokemaker; he’s prepared to take risks. He looks to dominate an attack as soon as he can, settling in for just a few balls and then unleashing in often devastating fashion. No doubt, he is exciting to watch. While flamboyant, he’s still reasonably selective about what ball to hit.
Bowling:Kapil Dev is not a genuine pace bowler but certainly a very capable operator with the new ball, easily the best India has had in a long time when you remember they’ve used players like Madan Lal to open the attack. He leaves a bit to be desired with his technique, especially the way he lets his head fall about, but he’s definitely a useful bowler in all sorts of conditions. While he’s proven himself all around the world, his strike rate has dropped off over the years.
Captaincy: I don’t think he knew how to win games with his captaincy, and India has had relatively few test wins in the last few years. He has been tactically deficient, or he might have been a ‘victim of the political pressure that abounds in Indian cricket. He did, however, lead India to its World Cup victory in 1983.
Fielding: Such a supple athlete Kapil Dev is brilliant in the outfield, in the West Indian style. Very loose and almost casual, he can stoop down, pick up the ball, and flick it back to the wicketkeeper in one movement. He’d be the most talented fielder of all of us.