Padding Up T-20 World Cup - UAE

A Grand Finale of New Zealand’s new found ruthlessness vs Australia’s clinical professionalism

The grand finale today of the seventh edition of cricket’s most absorbing fast and furious paced version of instant cricket’s T20 World Cup 2021 points to New Zealand’s new found ruthlessness in disposing off opposing teams to Australia’s clinical professionalism when Kane Williamson and Aaron Finch lead out their teams for battle to the ultimate trophy glitter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium at 7 p.m. Sri Lanka time. In this all-southern hemisphere showdown that will produce a cup winner for the first time from that region, therein it carries the trappings of two sides at their might striving for that ultimate pot of gold. 

While Australia, despite limping into the showpiece tournament with not the best of sides and having got thrashed by England on the way, have however lifted themselves up from the lowly in showcasing to the rest of the cricket world their clinical professional prowess of coming to terms in big show contests when the going gets tough, to Kane Williamson’s men the final carries a now or never whipped up significance. For, the Black Caps stand on the threshold of carrying home a big stakes world cup that has long eluded them in their cricket history and the prospects here is of a second grand opportunity they have played their selves into following that last gasp attempt in 2019 when cup hopes disintegrated in tears when they looked like worth champions that created questions all around as to the ICC permitting joint champions. They do hold some aces in the pack capable of delivering in the death.

Overly, while Australia does hold a near 16 to 1 unscathed all-win record against New Zealand from 17 their opponents’ wasn’t a knockout but the first of the best-of-three finals in 1981 which Australia won. Similarly, Australia have won all four knockout contests.

However, against all those past odds stacked against them, what stirs the blood in this grand finale is the marked turnaround in the Black Caps cricket that has assumed an urgency of dishing out ruthless cricket under the captaincy of Kane Williamson. That the change came with the 2019 ICC World Cup when New Zealand lost in a tied extra time play off going again into a tine with England winning on a faster run rate which caused the rest of the cricket world to pause and question the ICCs yardstick of deciding the winner did stamp out New Zealand as valiant in defeat. That they took their game into the longer version of the Test cricket format with an equally galvanizing momentum to dumping the toughest culminating with a thrashing handed out to Virat Kohli’s Indians did herald a transcension in New Zealand’s cricket. And, their gallop to standing a step away to realizing that long felt dream of a world cup at the expense of Australia has indeed served in hyping up today’s final.

In the final analysis, for all their past failed attempts against the Australians, the Black Caps do carry a threatening spring in their step to atoning in realizing that long elusive dream while on the other hand, Australia does bask in its pedigree of the highly clinical professional in big stakes showdowns. While New Zealand will be without the injured David Conway likely to be replaced by Tim Seifert, Australia is expected to go with an unchanged side that dumped Pakistan.

Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt.), 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Daryll Mitchell, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Tim Seifert (wk), 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Adam Milne, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Ish Sodhi.

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