World Cup final: Australia, New Zealand brace for latest chapter in their traditional rivalry at MCG

Updated on Mar 29, 2015 02:23 AM IST

New Zealand’s cricketers grew up playing backyard battles against imaginary Australia sides and will be eager to get one over their 'big brothers' in the World Cup final, paceman Tim Southee said.

New-Zealand-captain-Brendon-McCullum-L-listens-to-Australian-captain-Michael-Clarke-during-a-photo-session-with-the-ICC-Cricket-World-Cup-2015-trophy-at-the-Melbourne-Cricket-Ground-MCG-ahead-of-the-2015-Cricket-World-Cup-final-match-between-Australia-and-New-Zealand-in-Melbourne--AFP-Photo-Indranil-Mukherjee
New-Zealand-captain-Brendon-McCullum-L-listens-to-Australian-captain-Michael-Clarke-during-a-photo-session-with-the-ICC-Cricket-World-Cup-2015-trophy-at-the-Melbourne-Cricket-Ground-MCG-ahead-of-the-2015-Cricket-World-Cup-final-match-between-Australia-and-New-Zealand-in-Melbourne--AFP-Photo-Indranil-Mukherjee
Reuters | By, Sydney

New Zealand’s cricketers grew up playing backyard battles against imaginary Australia sides and will be eager to get one over their “big brothers” in the World Cup final, paceman Tim Southee said.

The trans-Tasman rivalry is fierce across all sports but will reach fever pitch on Sunday when nearly 100,000 will pack out the storied Melbourne Cricket Ground for the title-decider.

“The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand does cover every sport and it is massive,” Southee told reporters at the venue on Friday.

“We’re probably seen as the little brothers from across the ditch. We do quite well to compete in other sports.

“Obviously Australia have had the wood on us in cricket over the last few years but we’re slowly starting to even that picture. There is a massive rivalry in whatever sport you play in New Zealand and you always want to have one up over, I guess, the big brothers,” said Southee.

SELF BELIEF

Four-times champions Australia will enter the match favourites after thrashing India in Thursday’s semifinal but New Zealand will have no shortage of backers having waged a thrilling campaign to reach their maiden final.

Led by swashbuckling captain Brendon McCullum and playing a hyper-aggressive brand of cricket, the ‘Black Caps’ have not lost a game and believe they have claimed hard-won respect from their neighbours, who they beat in a thriller during the pool phase on home soil.

“I think in times gone by we probably haven’t played to our potential as consistently as we should have for the last two years,” Southee said.

“We respect Australia , they’re a quality side. They’re not number one in the world for no reason. And I’m sure that they’ve gained a little bit of respect for the brand of cricket that we’ve played over the last couple of years. I guess the opinion has changed a little bit.”

Sunday’s final will be New Zealand’s first match of the tournament away from home soil and their first at the MCG in since a six-wicket win over the hosts in 2009.



Video: The mood before the 2015 World Cup Australia vs New Zealand final at MCG




Get Latest Cricket Newsalong with Cricket Schedule. Also get updates on Indian Cricket Teamand Cricket Live Scoreof ongoing matches.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals