T20 World Cup final: Australia braced for a dogfight with Black Caps
Australia skipper Aaron Finch expects New Zealand to fight tooth and nail to be crowned T20 World Champions and promised his side would be up for the battle.
Finch expects New Zealand to run a tight ship in all facets of the game and knows his team will need to fire to claim their first T20 World Cup.
“Any time you play New Zealand you know how great a contest it’s going to be,” Finch said.
“They’re so disciplined in all three facets of their game.
“Their fielding is outstanding and they are a team you have to be on for all 40 overs if you’re going to get over the line.
“They are really well led by Kane (Williamson) and regardless of how they’re going they seem to hang around for long enough in any kind of contest and wear you down.
“They fight and scrap in every situation and they’re a great side.”
Conway loss a blow to New Zealand
Finch was asked if New Zealand would be a different prospect with Devon Conway ruled out of the final.
Conway broke his hand, punching his bat in frustration after being bowled by England’s Liam Livingstone in the semi-final.
“Conway has been such a consistent player for them,” Finch said.
“He plays spin really well through those middle overs so that will be a big loss.
“But they have a really good squad and whoever they bring in for that role will still be a really big challenge.”
Finch suggested that Australia didn’t have any surprises up their sleeves for the final, but said they would throw everything at the Black Caps.
“We’ll bring everything we’ve got to the game,” he said.
“May the best team win on the day.”
Neither team has won the men’s T20 World Cup so far – Australia came closest in 2010, finishing runners-up – so the tournament will have a first-time winner.
Looking at their head-to-head record, Australia hold a slight edge in T20Is: Since winning the first T20 international ever played, Australia have won eight more against their neighbours, while New Zealand have won five, including in a Super Over.
At the T20 World Cup, New Zealand took the honours in the only previous meeting between the sides. In the 2016 edition in India, New Zealand posted 142/8, before using pace off to keep Australia to 134/9. Mitchell McClenaghan was Player of the Match for his 3/17, while Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner took two wickets each.
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