Former New Zealand batter Peter Fulton has predicted that the Kiwis will get the better of Australia in the T20 World Cup 2021 final in Dubai on Sunday. Fulton expects the final to come down to the last couple of overs but proclaimed that New Zealand “won't spare Australia this time”.
New Zealand are yet to beat Australia in an ICC knockout match. The last time these two sides met in an ICC final was during the 2015 World Cup, when Australia crushed the Kiwis by seven wickets.
Previewing the final, Fulton told TimesofIndia.com that the game will be a close one, with New Zealand emerging triumphant in the end. He stated:
"It is going to be a pretty close game. New Zealand played Australia in a five-match series earlier this year and they won 3-2. I think it will be a very close game. New Zealand will win. It will come down to the last couple of overs. The team which will have a little bit of luck, will probably win the match. I see New Zealand winning the title this time. They won't spare Australia this time.”
Fulton, who featured in played 23 Tests, 49 ODIs, and 12 T20Is for New Zealand, pointed out that the Kiwis have been highly consistent across formats over the last three years. According to him, this success will give them a lot of confidence going into the T20 World Cup 2021 final. The 42-year-old added:
"We lost the final in 2015 and 2019. We then won the Test championship and now the T20 World Cup final is here. New Zealand will be favourites to win the title. They have been really at their best in the last three years. They are one of the best sides in the world. They are consistent in all three formats. Some world-class players and talented players are in the squad. We saw how Daryl Mitchell took the side home in the semifinals against England."
New Zealand defeated tournament favorites England by five wickets in the semi-final to book their place in the summit clash. They have not lost a single game in the T20 World Cup 2021 since going down to Pakistan in their tournament opener.
“Devon Conway being injured a big blow for New Zealand” - Peter Fulton
New Zealand suffered a setback ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 final when wicketkeeper-batter Devon Conway was ruled out of Sunday’s clash against Australia. Conway suffered a broken hand after punching his bat in frustration following his dismissal in the semi-final against England.
Admitting that New Zealand will miss the services of Conway in the final, Fulton predicted Tim Seifert or Mark Chapman could replace him. The former cricketer commented:
"Devon Conway being injured will be a very big blow for New Zealand. New Zealand are going to miss Conway badly in the final. Tim Seifert or Mark Chapman will replace him in the side. New Zealand will go with Glenn Phillips to keep the wickets. Conway has been a massive part of this team for the last one or two years and New Zealand will miss his services in the final.”
30-year-old Conway scored a crucial 46 in the semi-final against England before being stumped off Liam Livingstone’s bowling. According to media reports, Seifert is the likely candidate to replace him as keeper-batter for the T20 World Cup 2021 final.