New Zealand and Australia piped favourites England and Pakistan in the semifinals to set up the summit clash. It is a clash of both teams vying for their first T20 World Cup title. Here is 3 matchups that may well decide the outcome of the finals
New Zealand especially will be gunning for their maiden World Cup title. They have a golden chance of becoming the first team to win two ICC trophies in a single year. The kiwis will be up against Australia, a side who are yet to play their best game.
We look at 3 matchups that may well decide the outcome of the finals
#3 Mitchell Starc vs Martin Guptill
Mitchell Starc is yet to fire in all cylinders this World Cup. Starc is a complete beast when it comes to ICC limited-overs tournaments. He is deadly both with the new and the old ball. Starc has certain history when it comes to playing New Zealand.
His dismissal of then Kiwis skipper, Brendon McCullum in the opening over of the 2015 ODI World Cup final is still fresh in the minds of people. Starc will be expected to cut short Martin Guptill’s blitz and set the stage for Aussies. Who will win this opening battle may well go on to dictate terms for the rest of the game.
#2 Trent Boult vs Australian openers
Shaheen Shah Afridi almost singlehandedly knocked Australia’s top-order with his opening spell. Trent Boult will drive inspiration from him to do similar damage in the finals. Aaron Finch has had a history with balls coming in. Boult is an expert when it comes to bringing the ball back into the right-hander.
Finch will be wary of the threat that Boult possesses. He is yet to score big the Australian captain. If he is again found wanting against Boult, it might well be curtains for Australia in the big night.
David Warner, the other Australian opener looked in fearsome touch in the semi-finals. The vintage Warner that we all know seemed to be back in full measure. But Warner too has difficulties facing the swinging ball. A ball that shapes away ever so slightly almost always troubles him. Boult is a danger that Australia will have to counter if they have an eye on the big prize.
#1 Glenn Maxwell vs Ish Sodhi/ Mitchell Santner
Glenn Maxwell was one of the top 2 batters in the IPL in UAE. He destroyed spin attacks on will when his illustrious peers struggled to come to terms with them. Maxwell was considered Australia’s biggest hope heading into the World Cup. Nobody gave them a chance before the tournament, but now they are on the cusp of winning the T20 World Cup title.
Surprisingly, Maxwell hasn’t yet come to the party. Shadab Khan, the wily wrist-spinner outfoxed Maxwell in the semi-final. Ish Sodhi, the master tactician would have watched the dismal closely. He will surely lure the big show into a false shot. Mitchell Santner, the other kiwi spinner will aim to beef up the defensive game and frustrate Maxwell.
This duel between Maxwell and Kiwi spinners in the middle overs may well show us which way the final is headed in Dubai. Bring it on, we can’t wait for the game to start!