A file photo of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Getty Images)
Wellington: New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee has declared the Black Caps slight favourites for the two-Test series against India beginning this week, despite the gulf in the teams' world rankings. Hadlee, New Zealand's best-ever cricketer with 431 Test wickets and 3,124 runs, said the home side would take enormous confidence from their shock 4-0 one-day series win over India.
He said while India, second in the Test rankings, could not be underestimated, the eighth-ranked New Zealanders had all the momentum heading into the series. "Let's face it, they're a very, very good side, but at the moment we might go in a little bit as favourites because we've got a roll on at the moment," he told Radio Sport.
New Zealand have already defied the rankings with their one-day series win, in the process sending India from first to second in the ODI standings and lifting their own ranking from eighth to seventh. Hadlee said replicating that success in the Test arena would be a difficult feat for the Black Caps.
"We know that we're very competitive in T20 and one-day matches, I think we can take anyone on in those formats," he said. "Test cricket is going up another level, it will be a real test for them. "The first Test starts in Auckland on Thursday.