Richard Hadlee predicts keen contest between Australia, New Zealand

Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum and Aussie opener David Warner have been involved in a verbal off-field battle.

Richard Hadlee predicts keen contest between Australia, New Zealand

Brisbane: New Zealand pace great Richard Hadlee is predicting the Test series against Australia will be a "battle out there" spiced up by a war of words between the two camps this week.

The Trans-Tasman rivals will play a three-match Test series in Australia. The first Test begins in Brisbane on Thursday.

Australia and New Zealand have always been engaged in a love-hate cricketing rivalry, that has seen Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum and Aussie opener David Warner being involved in a verbal off-field battle. Warner accused the Black Caps leader of double standards between his on-field values and his off-field opinions.

Hadlee, a hero of NZ's last series win on Australian soil 30 years ago, has no problems with Australia's aggressive approach or Warner's pre-Test words, describing the exchange as "typical banter", reported on Wednesday.

"It stirs things up. It's good for the media and creates a few headlines," Hadlee said.

"Whether it has an effect on other people, from a personal point of view I can't answer that on behalf of Brendon or any other player. I expect the Australians to be confrontational. They always have been and always will be."

"Nothing will change, they've said that. That's the way they play the game, so be it. Our approach will be to ignore all that, just get on and play the game as hard and as fair as we can and compete. Let all the talking be done with the skills."

Hadlee starred in New Zealand’s only Test win at Brisbane in 1985, taking 15 wickets to put the visitors on track for their only series win in Australia.

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