'They weren't favourites because of recent performances': Wasim Akram picks team which 'has an edge for Sunday's final'

Published on Nov 13, 2021 08:55 PM IST
Both Australia and New Zealand finished second in their respective groups before heading to the semis where they beat the two title favourites.
Australia will take on New Zealand in 2021 T20 World Cup final(AP)
Australia will take on New Zealand in 2021 T20 World Cup final(AP)

Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram on Saturday backed the Aaron Finch-led Australian side to emerged victoriously in the 2021 T20 World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium.

Talking to India Today about the final, Akram admitted that even though Australia weren't about the tournament favourites based on recent performances in the format, their players, especially opener David Warner's form has peaked at the right time.

"Australia weren't the favourites because of their recent performances and T20I form. David Warner was one of the main parts of their team, especially in T20 cricket. He's a very aggressive batsman and is in good form, peaked at the right time.

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"Although Steve Smith is struggling so far in this Australian line-up but they are still looking good. Their fast bowling attack is also looking good, in the knockouts Maxwell and Stoinis have been their fifth bowler and New Zealand will be eyeing on them (taking them on).

"But in general, Australia look very strong especially after the semi-final win. If you ask me 'who are the favourites for tomorrow'?, I think Australians have an edge for Sunday's final," Akram said.

Both Australia and New Zealand finished second in their respective groups before heading to the semis where they beat the two title favourites. Australia, who finished second behind England in Group 1, defeated Pakistan to reach their second final and first in ICC events since 2015 while Kane Williamson's men, who finished second in Group 2, beat Eoin Morgan's men to reach their maiden final.

In terms of head-to-head tie, Australia lead 9-4 in 14 T20I meetings, although they lost in their only World T20 match, in 2016.

Akram also wants the Dubai stadium groundsmen to do something to nullify the effect of dew which has played a huge role in the T20 World Cup, especially at the venue where chasing teams have won all the nine matches.

"That's not fair (toss & dew factor influencing the results). They (match officials) have to come up with some ideas. They can't afford to cover the stadiums but give a fair chance to both the sides.

"The toss will make an effect. What you don't want is whatever we have seen in this World Cup that you win the toss, 80-90% you win the game. These are very good odds for teams chasing and that's not fair," Akram added.

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