T20 World Cup final, New Zealand vs Australia key stats: Form guide, head-to-head record and players to watch out for
Neither of them were even among the top four favourites for the title a month back, yet here they are, all geared up for the final on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. Australia and New Zealand, the Trans-Tasman rivals, incurred almost an identical journey to their first limited-overs ICC final since the 2015 ODI World Cup. Both finished second in their respective groups and then beat the tournament favourites in the semis to reach the final.
For Australia, it is their second T20 World Cup final since 2010 and New Zealand will be making their maiden appearance. Ahead of the final, we take a look at a few important statistics and their form.
Incidentally, yet again, both lost to Bangladesh in their last T20I series before the World Cup, New Zealand by 2-3 and Australia by 1-4. The Blackcaps then lost another, their T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan, by five wickets, but bounced back in style to win five in a row to book their place in the final. Australia, on the other hand, made a winning start in the UAE, beating South Africa and Sri Lanka before being hammered by England. However, they recovered well to win their next two, but managed a semi-final berth by virtue of England's win against South Africa. The Aussies then stunned Pakistan in the semis to reach their second final in a T20 World Cup.
Follow Live Blog - New Zealand vs Australia Live Score and Latest Updates
Australia lead 9-4 in 14 T20I meetings between the two sides, although they lost in their only World T20 match, in 2016.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
David Warner: As unusual as it sounds, Warner, one of the most consistent performers in the Indian Premier League (IPL), had a forgettable 2021 season where he struggled to find form and was also dropped from captaincy. In the second leg of the season, he played only two matches, a rare golden duck in his first and 2 off 3 in the second. His form was a major concern for Australia. But Warner in the Aussie uniform transformed into a different beast altogether, scoring 236 runs at 47.2, with a strike rate of 148.4, laced with two fifties.
Adam Zampa: If it has been Warner with the bat for the Aussies, it has been Zamap with the ball. He is presently the second-highest wicket-taker in the competition with 12 wickets at just 10.92, which includes a five-wicket haul as well. On Sunday, he will be a key bowler for Australia, especially against the New Zealand captain whom he has dismissed twice in T20s.
Tim Southee: Did you know that Southee did make the playing XI even once in the last T20 World Cup? He was also dropped after just two games in the 2014 edition. But nine years after his last and only successful T20 World Cup return, Southee has become one of the most crucial players in the New Zealand team. He has picked at least a wicket in each of the six games and conceded at only 5.75 runs per over, despite bowling the majority of his overs (14 out of 24) in the powerplay.
Daryl Mitchell: Expected to join Jimmy Neesham in the finisher's role, the 30-year-old was asked to open in the warm-ups place of Tim Seifert, who was late in joining the bubble and later incurred an injury. And the rest turned out to be an incredible story. In 116 T20s, Mitchell has never opened for any side, yet six innings later, he has amassed 197 runs at 39.40, with a strike rate of 140.71, which includes the unbeaten 47-ball 72 he smashed against England in the semis.