Although not rated generally the equals of Imran Khan,Jacques Kallis or Ian Botham,both Kapil Dev and Richard Hadlee were a collosus as cricketers.Kapil Dev at his best was the equal of Ian Botham and consistently a better fast-medium bowler. Hadlee was the best ever bowler amongts genuine all-rounders statistically overshadowing even Imran Khan and a more than capable batsmen.

Kapil Dev was one of the hardest hitters the game has ever seen creating the impact of a hurricane when batting in full flow.He carried a bat like a club and would execute the most imperious strokes to turn the complexion of a game.I can never forget his blitzkreig at Lords in 982 when scoring 89 and in 1990 when scoring 77.He also scored a test hundreds in West Indies versus the best ever Arguably bar Sobers no all-rounder has surpassed Kapil's batting in England in 1982 when he averaged 73 .He literals ripped the flesh of the bowling with scores of 41,89,65 and 97 scored in most critical situations.No paceman was better exponent of an outswinger as Kapil Dev .He troubled the greatest batsmen with his movement and impeccable length.On flat panacakes he had a haul of 434 wickets which is a phenomenal achievement.At his best when taking 32 wickets at 17.88 v Pakistan in 1979-80 and when taking 29 wickets at 18.53 v West Indies in 1983-84.His best figures are hauls of 9-83 v West Indise at Ahmedabad,8-85 v Pakistan at Lahore,8-129 v Australia at Sydney and 7-56 v Pakistan at Madras.Dismissed the great Zaheer Abbas and Viv Richards on countless occasions .Hi sbest all-round performnces were at Lords in 1982 when he scored 89 and 41 and took 5-125 and 3-43 and at Madars in 1983-84 when he took 7-56 and 4-90 and scored 84 with the bat.For a while in the 1980's Kapil was the best all-rounder in the world.On his day he could create an impact of a tornado in all departments of the game.Pure figures do injustice to the true impact of Kapil Dev.

Hadlee was more restrained with the bat but has a test century against West Indies to his nae and several fifties in England including a century.In 1984 and 86 he overshadowed Botham as an all-rounder in England itself.However with the ball on a green top he wasp probably the best fast bowler ever.Mainly fast-medium but posessed more control than any bowler ever.Hadlee was a bowling machine who evaluated the weaknesses of great opponents with pin point accuracy.Like Kapil Dev bore the brunt of a weak bowling attack and had to single-handedly bear it's brunt.Statistically he was perhaps the best of all paceman and in peak era captured 330 wkts at around 19 runs with a strike rate of around 47 which is incredible.At times Richard got defensive when battered by oponents.

So in the end only a whisker could seperate them.On a flat sub-continent wicket I would choose Kapil Dev because of his ability to move a ball on those type of surfaces.Hadlee at times could look helpless on a docile surface like at Lords in the bicentenary game of MCC v Rest of the World in 1987.Unlike Marshall he could not dig out the resources in such conditions.On a green top I would choose Hadlee with his exemplary control.Overall in perfect cricket conditions Kapil Dev will be my choice because he could turn a game equally with both ball and bat at his best Hadlee could not match Kapil Dev's audacity ion full flow.Also on a benign pitch Kapil could do more tricks with a ball.More times would Kapil Dv take 5 wickets and score a 50 in the same game as Hadlee.Still if I had to make a choice in an all-time xi Hadlee would come ahead of Kapil Dev in acompanying the likes of Sobers,Wasim,Marshall and Warne in a bowling attack giving it the perfect diversity.So to accompany Sobers,Imran or Kallis in an all-time xi I would rather choose Hadlee than Kapil as I would include him as fast bowler who could bat.Fast -bowling all-rounders have been greater match-winners.

STATISTICS COMPILED FROM S.RAJESH IN CRICINFO BELOW

Thanks to his improved batting skills, Hadlee was easily among the best allrounders in the world during the second half of his career. During the period between 1983 and 1990, only Imran Khan had a higher difference between batting and bowling averages (but Imran played as a specialist in some games during that period due to injury). The difference between Hadlee's batting and bowling averages was 13.39 - much superior to the corresponding numbers for Kapil Dev and Ian Botham.

BEST ALLOUNDERS IN TESTS BETWEEN 1983 AND 1990 (QUAL: 1000 RUNS, 100 WICKETS)
Player Tests Runs Average Wickets Bowl Ave Difference
Imran Khan 40 2008 51.48 156 21.39 30.09
Richard Hadlee 48 1883 33.03 262 19.64 13.39
Malcolm Marshall 59 1423 20.62 301 19.64 0.98
Kapil Dev 66 2621 29.78 204 30.11 -0.33
Ravi Shastri 60 3172 38.68 112 42.72 -4.04
Ian Botham 39 1890 30.48 114 36.90 -6.42
There were several outstanding bowlers who were at the peak of their powers in the 1980s, but even among them Hadlee stood out. In the 11-year period between 1978 and 1988, his average of 19.57 was bettered only by Imran. Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner had a slightly higher average, while Kapil and Botham find themselves at the bottom of the table below, with their averages almost 10 higher than Hadlee's.

RICHARD HADLEE'S BATTING CAREER IN TESTS
Period Runs Average 100s/ 50s
First 40 Tests 1300 21.66 1/ 5
Last 46 Tests 1824 33.16 1/ 10
Career 3124 27.16 2/ 15

BEST TEST BOWLERS BETWEEN JAN 1978 AND DEC 1988 (QUAL: 150 WICKETS)
Bowler Tests Wickets Average Strike Rate 5WI/ 10WM
Imran Khan 58 272 19.39 47.8 19/ 5
Richard Hadlee 60 330 19.57 48.4 32/ 8
Joel Garner 53 234 20.27 50.6 7/ 0
Malcolm Marshall 61 300 20.88 45.8 18/ 3
Michael Holding 47 192 23.69 50.8 9/ 1
Dennis Lillee 38 184 24.32 52.6 11/ 3
Bob Willis 60 218 24.50 53.7 9/ 0
Iqbal Qasim 44 155 27.38 75.2 8/ 2
Ian Botham 92 363 28.07 56.0 25/ 4
Kapil Dev 95 329 29.44 60.0 19/ 2
Playing for one of the weaker teams in international cricket meant some of Hadlee's best performances went in vain, but there were several other occasions when he single-handedly won matches for New Zealand. On the 22 instances when he finished on the winning side, Hadlee took a whopping 173 wickets - that's almost eight wickets per match - at a spectacular average of 13.06, which remains the best among bowlers with 150 wickets in wins. In 22 matches Hadlee had 17 five-wicket hauls, including his career-best figures of 9 for 52 during an unforgettable performance against Australia in Brisbane.

KAPIL DEV'S TEST CAREER IN THREE PARTS
Period Runs Average 100s Wickets Average 5WI
First Ten Tests 510 42.50 1 29 39.06 1
Next 52 Tests 1973 27.40 2 218 26.19 17
Next 69 Tests 2765 32.52 5 187 32.20 5
Career 5248 31.05 8 434 29.64 23


In the 1980s, Kapil was among the best bowlers against a line-up that included Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson. He dismissed Greenidge eight times in Tests, and Haynes, Richards and Dujon seven times each. (Click here for more details.) In 19 Tests, Kapil's bowling average against West Indies was less than 23; among those who bowled at least 1200 deliveries against them during this period, only Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee, the two other great allrounders of the era, had better bowling averages. Ian Botham's numbers were a huge contrast to those of the three other allrounders, though: in 19 Tests he took only 58 wickets at an average of almost 36.

BEST TEST BOWLERS VERSUS WEST INDIES IN THE 1980S (QUAL: 1200 BALLS BOWLED)
Bowler Tests Wickets Average Strike Rate 5WI/10WM
Imran Khan 10 52 16.68 38.3 5/ 1
Richard Hadlee 10 51 22.03 49.1 4/ 1
Kapil Dev 19 72 22.98 51.4 4/ 1
Abdul Qadir 8 40 28.07 55.2 1/ 0