Brad Hogg has admitted he is surprised Australia have been able to make it to the T20 World Cup 2021 final as they were not in great shape heading into the event. According to Hogg, Pakistan, whom Australia defeated in the semi-final, looked like a more balanced side.
Australia will meet New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 final in Dubai on Sunday. The Aussies got the better of Pakistan by five wickets in the semi-finals while the Kiwis stunned England by a similar margin to book their place in the summit clash.
In a Q & A session on his YouTube channel, Hogg was asked if he genuinely expected Australia to reach the T20 World Cup 2021 final. The former left-arm Australian spinner candidly replied:
“I didn’t expect them to reach the final. Thought Pakistan had a better balanced team to beat Australia. They prepared for this tournament better than Australia. If you look at Australia, they had gone to Bangladesh and West Indies, had a bit of a mix and match team.”
The 50-year-old further pointed out that Australia’s preparations for the T20 World Cup 2021 were not the best since the team had hardly been together. Hogg added:
“They weren’t going in as a balanced team and a side that has been together. A lot of them had been in quarantine back home and hadn’t had match cricket behind them as well. I was very surprised that they were able to step up and get through to the final. Full credit to them. They worked hard in the nets and put in those extra yards.”
Heading into the final, Australia have lost only one match in the T20 World Cup 2021. They went down to England by eight wickets in the group clash.
“They are very well balanced” - Hogg explains New Zealand’s success formula in ICC events
The T20 World Cup 2021 summit clash will be New Zealand’s third straight ICC final. They were runners-up in the 2019 World Cup and won the World Test Championship earlier this year.
Asked what makes the Kiwis such a consistent team at ICC events, Hogg explained:
“New Zealand are a balanced outfit. They've got a squad of 15 that they don’t really change over an extended period of time. They make sure that the big boys are always playing the majority of the tournaments. They are very well balanced as well.
Hogg further elaborated:
"They have got Guptill and Williamson, who try and bat through the innings. Then, they have got the power of Mitchell, Conway, Phillips, Neesham. They have a good variety of bowlers who can adjust in most conditions around the world. That’s why they are really successful.”
New Zealand began their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a five-wicket loss to Pakistan, but they have since been unbeaten.