New Zealand vs Australia
New Zealand vs Australia (Credits: Twitter)

New Zealand lock horns with Australia in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The two teams have taken on each other on 14 occasions in T20 internationals.

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Of those, Australia have managed to win on 9 occasions, while New Zealand emerged victorious 5 times. Here’s a look at how these two sides have performed thus far in the competition.

New Zealand vs Australia- Match Preview, ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Final

Australia:

Marcus Stonins and Mathew Wade
Image Source: Twitter

It’s hard to believe that Australia have reached the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Given their recent performances in the T20 format, not a lot of people would have expected them to reach this far in the competition. One of the biggest reasons behind their success has been the opening pair. David Warner’s return to form is a big positive for them.

He has played some sensational knocks in the tournament, while Aaron Finch too has been amongst the runs. Warner played a blistering 49-run knock off 30 deliveries in the semi-final match against Pakistan. Had he not gotten out, Australia could have won much earlier.

Mitchell Marsh too has been looking in decent touch, however, Glenn Maxwell’s form is a glaring concern. He hasn’t played a single notable innings so far and there couldn’t be a better opportunity for him than the game on Sunday to showcase his mettle. Given how Marcus Stoinis and Mathew Wade batted in the last game, Australia would be very confident about their batting. The duo was sensational in the last game and is expected to come good in the final as well.

The bowling has been their strength in the tournament. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have picked wickets consistently. They had a forgetting outing in the last game but one can expect them to bounce back strongly.

Their best bet has been no other than Adam Zampa. The Australian leg-spinner has been superb throughout the tournament and New Zealand would be wary of that. Zampa is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 12 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 10.92.

New Zealand:

Trent Boult and Kane Williamson
Trent Boult and Kane Williamson (Image Credit: Twitter)

New Zealand too would be coming in the final with a lot of confidence. They beat the tournament’s potential favourites England in the semi-final match by 5 wickets. Much like Australia, New Zealand’s strength also lies in their bowling.

Trent Boult and Tim Southee will, once again, be their biggest bets in the bowling department. Southee gave just 24 runs for 1 wicket in his 4 overs against England. Boult, however, conceded a lot of runs. New Zealand are definitely missing Lockie Ferguson in the bowling line-up. His replacement, Adam Milne bowled well in the last game and the team would be hopeful that he replicates a similar performance in the final. The spinners, too have done a great job in the tournament, particularly Ish Sodhi. The New Zealand leg-spinner has 9 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 17.11.

New Zealand’s batting, however, lack steam and it is a big concern going into the final. Devon Conway has been ruled out of the tournament due to injury and the likes of Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips aren’t in the best of form. Tim Siefert will most likely replace Conway on Sunday. Having said that, Jimmy Neesham’s vital knock in the last game should give them a lot of confidence.

But if New Zealand fancy a win against Australia, then Kane Williamson or Daryl Mitchell has to make a significant contribution with the bat. It will be interesting to see how New Zealand approach their batting against a solid Australian bowling unit.