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3 things Australia need to do to beat New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 final

Australian cricket team. Pic: Getty Images
Australian cricket team. Pic: Getty Images
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Renin Wilben Albert

Australia will take on New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 final in Dubai on Sunday (November 14). The match is being billed as a rematch of the 2015 50-over World Cup final, which was played in Melbourne.

Australia easily overcame the Kiwi challenge in 2015. However, this time round, they will come up against a much more polished and mature New Zealand outfit. On paper, Australia will still start as favorites. They have more firepower when it comes to one-on-one match-ups. Overall as well, Australia are the superior side.

New Zealand, though, in their own unassuming way, can challenge the Aussies. After all, the Kiwis are a side who have now made it to three ICC finals in a row.


How Australia can outdo New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 final

On the eve of the Australia vs New Zealand clash, we look at three things the Aussies can do to gain the advantage over the Kiwis in the T20 World Cup 2021 final.


#1 One of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc must fire

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. Pic: Getty Images
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. Pic: Getty Images

Experienced pacers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc were expected to be Australia’s game-changing bowlers in the T20 World Cup 2021. However, it has been leggie Adam Zampa who has done that job. Zampa is the team’s leading wicket-taker in the competition with 12 wickets at a strike rate of 11.5.

Starc has not done a bad job per se. He has claimed nine wickets at a strike rate of 15.3. But his consistency in line and length has not quite been there and he has often released the pressure with boundary balls. This explains why he has a high economy rate of 8.17.

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Cummins has been the bigger disappointment of the two. He has only managed five wickets in the T20 World Cup 2021 so far. He bowled one brilliant over at the death in the semis against Pakistan but hasn’t done much of note otherwise.

Even though Josh Hazlewood has chipped in with some handy performances, his limitations as a T20 bowler are quite evident. As such, Australia could find themselves in trouble against New Zealand if Cummins and Starc have an off day.


#2 Aussie batters need to counter the Ish Sodhi threat smartly

New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. Pic: Getty Images
New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. Pic: Getty Images

If Australia have Zampa, New Zealand have Ish Sodhi. Both players are somewhat restrained in nature but do the job the team demands from them.

If Zampa has 12 scalps to his name, Sodhi has nine at a strike rate of 14 and an economy rate of 7.33. Incredibly, Sodhi picked up a wicket in his first over in every match that New Zealand played in the group stage. Such has been the level of his effectiveness in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Sodhi is someone who targets the best batters of the opposition. He dismissed Jos Buttler in the first semi-final against England, Mohammad Rizwan in the match against Pakistan, and Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the big clash against India. The Kiwi leg-spinner would look to get the better of some big guns in the Aussie line-up as well.

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Australia will need to handle the Sodhi threat very smartly. Previous opponents weren't able to do so and paid the price for the same. Being a 20-over match, Australia cannot afford to play out Sodhi without taking any risks, for the conservative ploy could also backfire.

How Australia’s batters tackle Sodhi could have a significant impact on the outcome of the T20 World Cup 2021 final.


#3 Australia must not underestimate any of New Zealand’s players

Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner after New Zealand’s win over England in the first semi-final. Pic: Getty Images
Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner after New Zealand’s win over England in the first semi-final. Pic: Getty Images

The standout aspect of New Zealand’s cricket is that they do not have a certified match-winner. They are the epitome of the word “team”. On a given day, any of the 11 players can put their hands up and emerge as the star performer.

Take the case of Daryl Mitchell. He was not among the players to watch out for at the start of the T20 World Cup. But he lifted his game in the all-important semi-final and is suddenly being noticed by everyone.

The seasoned pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee are star performers in the bowling department. But New Zealand have found a way to go past the winning line even on days when they haven’t been at their best. The Kiwis were dealt with a big setback ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 final, with Devon Conway being ruled out due to a hand injury. But they will be confident of working their way around that. The spirit of New Zealand cricket doesn’t allow them to give up.

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If you look at the New Zealand side, Kane Williamson is their only bona fide superstar. The others play around him and do a great job. Australia will have to be at their best against each and every Kiwi in the final, because even New Zealand don’t know which player can turn up as a match-winner on a given day.


Edited by Sai Krishna
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