T20 World Cup 2021: Australia's road to the final
Australia will be taking on New Zealand in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday. The Aussies finished behind England in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage before stunning Pakistan in the second semi-final. Australia are in their second ICC T20 World Cup final (also in 2010). The Aussies will need to play smart cricket and overcome the Kiwis.
Why does it matter?
- Australia have a habit of turning up in major tournaments and this is no exception.
- The Aussies pulled off a trick out of the hat against Pakistan just when things looked done and dusted.
- This will hand them a major confidence boost against a spirited New Zealand side.
- Australia have played a consistent brand of cricket and that will prove to be massive.
Australia's report card in the Super 12 stage
Australia started their T20 World Cup campaign with a final-over victory against South Africa. They sealed a five wicket-win and followed it up with a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. The next match was one-sided as England thrashed Australia by eight wickets. The Aussies overcame Bangladesh and West Indies respectively (8 wickets each). Notably, all of Australia's victories came while chasing.
Australia stun Pakistan in the semis
Pakistan were the favorites going into the semi-final game against Australia. Babar Azam's men were in control of the match before Australia finished things in style. Batting first, Pakistan posted 176/4 in 20 overs. Mohammad Rizwan scored a prolific 67. In response, the Aussies were restricted to 96/5 in 12.2 overs. They smashed 81 runs from the next 40 balls to seal the deal.
The top performers for Australia in T20 WC 2021
With the ball, right-arm spinner Adam Zampa has been excellent. He has claimed 12 wickets from six games at just 10.91. Mitchell Starc (9 wickets ) has also done well. In terms of runs, David Warner has found his feet, scoring 236 runs at 47.20. He has smashed two fifties with the best score of 89*. He has hit the joint-most fours (28).
T20Is: H2H record between New Zealand and Australia
The two sides have met 14 times in T20I cricket, with Australia leading the head-to-head series 9-5 (includes NZ's Super Over win). Earlier this year, New Zealand beat Australia 3-2 in the five-match T20I series at home. As far as the T20 World Cup is concerned, the two sides have clashed only once. The Black Caps won in the 2016 edition by eight runs.
Key details about the final
The final will be held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. It will begin at 7:30 PM IST. Both New Zealand and Australia won their last games on this venue. The wicket here assists the batters, while the bowlers also receive help. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on Disney+ Hotstar (paid subscription).