We are here, the much-awaited clash of the year. The ICC T20 WC 2021 final is set to take place at the Dubai International Stadium, this Sunday. Two heavyweights of sport, yes, we have a virtual rematch of the 2015 World Cup finals.
The spirited kiwis are set to lock horns with the mighty Australians and we know when these two neighbors clash it always is a treat to watch.
The Aussies after back-to-back series losses were almost written off from the shortest format but talk about a champion side, they played as if their lives were on the line. The kiwis on the other hand have been subtle throughout the tournament as their unorthodox team selection was always a topic to debate on.
However, they once again serve as an example of what it means to play as a team and they do not depend on a single player to take them over the line. The last time the sides met was a 5-match bilateral series that went in favor of the kiwis after the series be leveled at 2-2 after the first four matches.
That will hold no value here as the conditions are not in favor of either of the sides but two teams have defied great odds to reach this stage. One of them are destined to win their maiden T20 title. Who will that be? Will it be the 2015 ICC WC champions? Or will the kiwis become the first nation to bag two major ICC trophies in a calendar year?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
Head to Head
Matches Played: 14, New Zealand: 5, Australia: 9
Weather conditions and pitch
The kiwis have been struck with a huge blow as they will be without the services of their key middle-order batsman- Devon Conway, who was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury to his hand in the semi-final clash against England. He is likely to be replaced by the hard-hitting Wk-batsman Tim Siefert.
The Aussies have gelled well together as a team and they look good to go for the all-important clash. They have not reported any injuries and are likely to feature the same Xl that took the field against the Pakistanis.
Probable Playing Xl
New Zealand (NZ): Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Tim Seifert (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Australia (AUS): David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
The in-form kiwi opener who is playing his debut World cup, Daryl Mitchell made easy work of the English side to see his team through to their maiden T20 WC finale. He along with the Aussie opener David Warner are expected to score big in this epic finale.
Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and kiwi cool head all-rounder Jimmy Neesham are out two must-picks as they are expected to deliver both with the bat and ball.
NZ vs AUS fantasy team
Captain and VC picks
# Out of the 44 matches played so far in this tournament, 28 matches have been won by the team winning the toss and that trend has continued in the playoffs as well. Well, now we know how crucial the toss will be in the decider.
# New Zealand have just won once out of the five matches against Australia when chasing and when batting first have managed to win 4 out of 9 matches.
# With 435 runs to his name, the Kiwi opener Martin Guptill is the highest run-getter in this fixture. In the bowling department, Ish Sodhi leads the tally with 16 wickets under his belt.
# The kiwi skipper Kane Williamson is 64 runs away from reaching the milestone of 2000 T20I runs. The 31-year old will become only the 14th player overall and just the third Kiwi to achieve the imposing feat.
# The kiwi spearhead Tim Southee, who has 107 wickets to his name is now tied with the Lankan legend Lasith Malinga and a wicket against the Aussies could see him become the second-highest wicket-taker in the shortest format.
Two high-octane semis and one could say that both matches saw the underdogs come on top. The Australians look well on course and their only downfall has been the performance of their star all-rounder, Glenn Maxwell. The Blackcaps on the other hand have been functioning well as a team and have been covering up each other well.
The conditions are in favor of the batsmen and this time around we are certain to see a high-scoring thriller, unlike the low-scoring trend that these two teams have been part of. The toss will play a crucial part like in the semis. Australia seems just a tend stronger on paper given the strong middle-order and depth in batting.
Cricwizz predicts Australia to win the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
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