England seamer Ryan Sidebottom has said he is flattered at being identified as the key threat to New Zealand during their upcoming series by Sir Richard Hadlee.
Outstanding pace bowler Hadlee was the chairman of the New Zealand selection panel that chose the squad for the three-Test series which starts at Lord's here on Thursday.
And having seen left-arm seamer Sidebottom take 24 wickets for England during their 2-1 series win in New Zealand earlier this year, Hadlee was in no doubt of the worth of his fellow Nottinghamshire bowler.
"Sidebottom bowled beautifully in New Zealand, he proved to be a major challenge for us and we will have to combat him if we are to stand any chance of even being competitive in the series," said Hadlee, the first bowler to take 400 Test wickets.
"Sidebottom can swing it both ways, bowls a heavy ball, and can bowl left-arm around the wicket, which is an unusual skill for a left-hander to possess.
"Ryan also has nagging accuracy, he showed in New Zealand his ability to get the ball there and thereabouts most of the time, and again that is something which will test our side. They are going to be coming up against a very skilful bowler."
Late on Monday, Sidebottom was named England's player of the year and, responding to Hadlee's comments, told reporters at Lord's: "It's a massive compliment coming from such a great bowler, but New Zealand will still be a tough team to beat.
"I think they showed that in New Zealand, it was hard graft for us and to come out 2-1 winners was a massive effort.
"I've only played a handful of games and of course I'd like to continue in the same vein, but it's not going to be easy."
Sidebottom has enjoyed a memorable year after reviving an international career that looked as if it had long since finished.
The 30-year-old took 53 wickets at 25.24 in 12 Tests after being recalled last season in place of the injured Matthew Hoggard for the second Test against the West Indies at Headingley, the ground where he began his career with Yorkshire.
England coach Peter Moores's decision to bring back Sidebottom came six years after the bowler made his Test debut at Lord's only to be dropped straight away after a wicketless game against Pakistan.
But he has now become the cornerstone of England's attack. "It's been a massive change in my fortunes," Sidebottom admitted.
"This time last year, I was training for Notts and just playing county cricket so it's been a massive turnaround.
"But it's one I'm not getting carried away about and I'm relishing the opportunity to play again for England at Lord's.
"It's massive to win it (this award), but it's not just down to me - the other guys who have been playing have made me feel very welcome in the team and it's just allowed me to do my job.
"The first I heard about it was when we got to Lord's earlier today (Monday) and it was on the big screen and one of the lads pointed it out to me."
It seemed as if Sidebottom, like his father Arnie, was destined to be a 'one-Test wonder' and that, even when brought back, his return would not last that long.
"All the talk when I was called up was that it was going to be just for one game," said Sidebottom.
"They were all going on about the horses-for-courses thing. I sat down with my Dad and he said just get out there and do your best and don't look ahead. I suppose at Headingley I just played as if it was going to be my last game."