A new chapter will be written in the trans-Tasman rivalry as the two sides clash in the final on Sunday in Dubai with both countries eyeing their maiden T20 title.
As has been the case for the last decade, David Warner will remain key for Australia at the top. Wasim Akram hailed the southpaw’s form.
After a torrid time in the second half of IPL, and single-digit scores in the two warm-up matches, Warner has hit top form in the Super 12. He is Australia’s leading run-scorer, averaging 47 at a strike rate of 148.
“Australia weren’t the favourites because of their recent performances and T20I form. David Warner was one of the main parts of their team, especially in T20 cricket. He’s a very aggressive batsman and is in good form, peaked at the right time,” Wasim Akram told India Today.
I think Australians have an edge: Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram also pointed out that Steve Smith’s hasn’t been at his best, and Australia are will go in without a proper fifth bowler with Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh and Stoinis sharing the fifth bowler’s quota.
However, he feels, Australia will have the momentum of the incredible semi-final win over one of the tournament favourites in Pakistan, and hold an edge over the Kiwis.
“Although Steve Smith is struggling so far in this Australian lineup but they are still looking good. Their fast bowling attack is also looking good, in the knockouts Maxwell and Stoinis have been their fifth bowler and New Zealand will be eyeing on them (taking them on).
“But in general, Australia look very strong especially after the semifinal win. If you ask me ‘who are the favourites for tomorrow’?, I think Australians have an edge for Sunday’s final,” the legendary pacer added.
New Zealand will be without ‘keeper-batsman Devon Conway, who has been ruled out of the final with a hand injury which he sustained when he struck his bat after being dismissed during the semi-final against England.