It’s Australia v New Zealand in the final of the T20 World Cup, and we’ve got you covered with all the key details.
Australia’s Road to the final?
Aside from a humbling at the hands of England, it has been a strong run of results for Justin Langer’s men in the UAE. A nail-biting win over South Africa kicked off Australia’s tournament before they doubled their points with a commanding victory over Sri Lanka. And while the disheartening England defeat in their third clash saw many write the side off, the Aussies bounced back with a thumping victory over Bangladesh. This, in hindsight, proved crucial in securing a strong enough net run rate to progress. Another comfortable win over the West Indies followed, which ensured progression to the semi-finals in the second spot in their Super 12 group after England, Australia and South Africa all finished on level points. There, facing an undefeated Pakistan, the Aussies pulled off perhaps their most famous ever T20 win to progress to Monday morning’s showpiece.
New Zealand’s path to the final?
Unlike Australia, the Black Caps kicked off their tournament with a loss to Pakistan, which left them with little margin for error. They then bounced back in terrific fashion with victory over pre-tournament favourites India, which laid the foundations for progression. A defeat in that game, as was the case with India, would have been the end for Kane Williamson’s men. Instead, they remained on the hunt. From there, they started favourites in three consecutive games against Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan and controlled each encounter, ensuring they would do enough to progress through to the semi-finals. There they met England and, like the Aussies, started as underdogs to an in-form side. But as is customary with this New Zealand outfit, they scrapped and scraped to remain in the contest throughout, before some brilliant late hitting from Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell saw them through.
When is the New Zealand vs Australia start time?
The 2021 T20 World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand starts at 2 PM GMT / 10 AM ET / 7 AM PT / Midnight AEST / 7:30 IST / 7:45 NST.
The match will be played at Dubai International Stadium, Dubai.
T20 World Cup 2021: Where to watch live
India: Star Sports Network; Disney+ Hotstar
UK & Ireland: Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Mix; Sky Sports app, www.skysports.com
Australia: Fox 503, Fox 505, Fox More +, Foxtel GO, Foxtel NOW, Kayo Sports
Australia – WWWLW
(last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand– WWWWW
Players to watch
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa has been the go-to bowler for skipper Aaron Finch throughout the tournament and again looms as Australia’s key on Monday morning. No player has taken more wickets (12) in the Super 12s, and Zampa will again look to control the middle overs for his side. Teammate David Warner had a terrible lead-in to this tournament; dropped by his IPL franchise and returning scores of 0 and 1 in the two World Cup warm-up games. But something has clicked for the punchy left-hander, in ominous signs for the Black Caps. Warner was back to his best with 89 not out against the Windies in Australia’s final group game, but his 49 off 30 changed the course of the semi-final and pulled Australia out of the early trouble caused by Shaheen Afridi.
For New Zealand, Martin Guptill looms as the man who could hurt Australia early. The opener has scored 218 runs in his past four T20I innings against Australia, at a strike rate of 162.70. Just like Brendon McCullum did in the 2015 ODI World Cup between these two sides, expect Guptill to come out swinging. If Australia (in particular Mitchell Starc) can replicate the famous early dismissal from the ODI World Cup final, they will set themselves up well. And, while it’s a name that hasn’t been mentioned much this T20 World Cup, it is worth remembering Trent Boult’s capacity to do damage both in the Powerplay and at the back-end against Australia. Boult sits just behind Zampa with 11 wickets in the Supers 12s, at an impressive economy rate of 6.54. One of world cricket’s most consistent performers, he will again have the ball in hand when it matters most.
Pitch and conditions
We should get a fresh pitch, which should be good for batting. Even though there wasn’t much dew during the semi-final in Dubai, chasing remains the preferred option.
Stats and trivia
- New Zealand have never beaten Australia in any knockout match. They have played each in 17 quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, out of which Australia have won 16. The one that New Zealand won wasn’t a knockout but the first of the best-of-three finals in 1981, a series that New Zealand eventually lost. Australia have won all the four knockout matches between them at ICC events.
- Neither captain is having a great tournament. Kane Williamson has scored 131 runs at under a run a ball, and Aaron Finch has scored at a rate of just 119 despite being an opener and getting to bat in the powerplay. Finch, though, has done much better at the toss, winning five to Williamson’s two.
- We are guaranteed a first T20 world champion from the southern hemisphere.
- Australia have a batting dot-ball percentage of 24 per cent between overs 17 and 20 at this tournament, the best of any team and three percentage points fewer than New Zealand.
- New Zealand’s bowling economy rate of 6.40 is the best of any team at this tournament. Australia is ranked tenth with a bowling economy of an even 7.
- The stats say Australia have saved 21 runs in the field in the tournament, the second most by any team (Pakistan had 22) and four more than New Zealand (17).
- If David Warner scores 29 or more he will pass Matthew Hayden’s record for the most runs scored at a single T20 World Cup by an Australian. Haydos hit 265 in 2007, and Shane Watson had 249 in 2012. Warner currently has 236 and his 35 boundaries (28 fours, 7 sixes) are the joint-most by any player in the tournament, equaling Mohammad Rizwan and Jos Buttler.
- Tim Southee has induced a false shot percentage of 44 per cent against batters at the tournament. Only Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi, with 46 per cent, has caused batters more problems.
- Adam Zampa’s 12 wickets trails only Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga’s 16 for most at the tournament (Sri Lanka played four more matches in the first round). The Aussie record for most wickets at a T20 World Cup was the 14 Dirk Nannes took in the Caribbean in 2010.
Any Injury News
Spare a thought for Devon Conway, who was so frustrated with his dismissal in the semi-final that he punched his bat, promptly breaking a bone in his finger and putting him out of the final against Australia. Conway was stumped for 46 off 38 balls at an awkward time in New Zealand’s run-chase against England, and thumped his GM bat in frustration, with the padding on his gloves offering little protection.
An X-ray confirmed Conway broke the fifth metacarpal on his right hand and misses not only the T20 World Cup final, but New Zealand’s Test and T20 tour of India to follow. Tim Seifert, who has played just one game at this World Cup, scoring eight off as many balls in a defeat to Pakistan, is the backup keeper in the Black Caps’ squad.
Touchwood, it has been a charmed run through the tournament so far for the Australians. The only issue – apart from some bad haircuts – was when Mitch Starc copped a knock to his knee in training after a fierce return drive felled the fast bowler, but a bit of ice and he was good to go and hasn’t missed a beat.
Expect Australia to take an unchanged side into the final and persist with a pace-heavy approach. The batting order may shuffle depending on how the Aussies start, with Glenn Maxwell likely to slide up or down in the order to be first in after the Powerplay is complete
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
The Black Caps will be forced into at least one change with the self-inflicted injury to Devon Conway and that is likely to be a straight swap for backup keeper Tim Seifert. That does weaken their batting a touch, but they have no other batters in reserve to strengthen the line-up.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.
“It’s not unexpected: we came here with a clear plan to try and win this tournament and always felt as though we had the depth and quality in our squad to put ourselves in a position to do that, and New Zealand have been in every final for a long time now in ICC events. They’re a great team overall three formats and can never be underestimated, but maybe people on the outside do.” Aaron Finch objects to the suggestion that Australia vs New Zealand is an “unexpected” final
“I suppose the fact that we’re neighbours creates a bit of that [rivalry]. And [in] a number of different sports as well. We play each other on a number of occasions. It’s always a great competition and great occasion when we play each other.” Kane Williamson on the Trans-Tasman rivalry
Australia to end the hunt for their elusive trophy and add another trophy on their already jampacked trophy cabinet.