Australia and New Zealand will face off in the massive final of the T20 World Cup early on Monday morning. As always, Mr. Cricket has you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the game below.
Remember, the T20 World Cup Final is just the first marquee event in a massive summer of cricket for Australia which includes the Ashes and another BBL season. Check out our Cricket Tips page for regular updates.
New Zealand vs Australia
Dubai International Stadium, Monday 1.00am (AEDT)
Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee
The Kiwis recorded an all-time win against England in the semi-final to advance to the big dance. Bowling first, they allowed the English to score 166 off their 20 overs. England looked certain to defend the total as New Zealand fell to 2/13, losing important batsmen in Martin Guptill and Kane Wiliamson in the first few overs.
Daryl Mitchell and Decon Conway then put on a 82 run partnership for the 3rd wicket to get the Kiwis back in it before Jimmy Nesham came to the crease and played one of the great cameos in modern cricket with 27 off just 11 balls. That, combined with some ferocious hitting from Mitchell late in the innings gave New Zealand the win with a full over to spare.
Unfortunately for the Kiwis, the win came with some drawbacks, most notably the injury to wicket-keeper Devon Conway, who unbelievably broke his hand punching his own bat after going out. Tim Seifert is the likely replacement with the gloves, or the Kiwis could get really bold and opt to play an extra all-rounder in Kyle Jamieson and throw the gloves to Glenn Phillips. Either way, the loss of batting prowess in Conway's absence will be a massive blow to an already shaky NZ top order.
Spinner Ish Sodhi has taken 16 wikets against the Aussies in just 9 T20 games at a great strike rate of just 12.75. His T20 bowling average is 21.22 but against Australia that number drops to just 15.69.
Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (VC), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Traveling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams
The Australia-Pakistan semi-final was nearly a carbon copy of the one that happened the night before. Bowling first, the Aussies allowed Pakistan 4/176 in their 20 overs and in reply, the Aussies also lost an early wicket with skipper Aaron Finch going out first ball.
David Warner and Mitch Marsh mounted a comeback before it was Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade with the late game heroics. Wade in particular played one of the great T20 innings in history, smashing 41 off just 17 balls including three sixes in a row off the last three balls of the 19th over, when Australia needed 18 off just 9 balls.
The form of Steve Smith is an issue at the moment, but the rest of the Australian batting order seems to have hit their stride over the last few games. Every batsmen in their top seven has now played at least one good innings in this tournament, which is a really promising sign heading into the final.
In T20 internationals, Aaron Finch averages 36.15 with the bat. In 7 games against New Zealand, that number rises to a whopping 62.75. his three most recent games against the Kiwis, which came in 2021, saw him smash 69, 79* and 36 across the three innings. I'm expecting a captains knock from him in this game.
I think the result of the toss will have a big impact on this game. Throughout the touranment so far, the team bowling first has had a massive advantage, but I think that will swing in this game. Runs on the board have proven to be key in massive games like this and if not for two of the greatest T20 innings ever played, that would have been the case in both semi-finals.
Without knowing the result of the toss, I'm leaning slightly towards the Aussies here. They have proven to have a big brother complex over teh Kiwis that has been hard for the New Zealand side to shake despite arguably boasting the more talented team over the past few years.
NZ's most important player in Kane Williamson has also really struggled against the Aussies in T20 games, averaging just 13.78 in 9 games against Australia compared to his career average of 31.7.
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