Both Australia and New Zealand are keeping their goal simple— to win the title— ahead of the final of the ongoing T20 World Cup which is all set to take place on Sunday in Dubai.
Australia’s first chance was ruined by England in the final of the 2010 World Cup, but they are determined to grab the one title that eludes them on Sunday. New Zealand, on the other hand, have their first chance after ending heavily-fancied England's run in the semifinal.
“It’s one that’s eluded us in the past, and the fact that we are here in the final gives us the best opportunity to rectify that,” Aaron Finch, the Australian captain, said on Saturday. “I think it will be a great game against New Zealand. They are a great side and they have been in all the finals over the last six years.”
The final of the 2015 World Cup was the last, and only previous, occasion these two neighbouring countries faced each other in a World Cup final. New Zealand capitulated by seven wickets in Melbourne.
The Blackcaps continued their final presence in 2019 when they were narrowly beaten by England on a controversial boundary count that has since been removed from the rules. The final of this year’s T20 World Cup is a fourth straight final for them, at an ICC World Cup event - earlier this year they also played the final of the Test championship, and won it.
Before beating Pakistan in the semifinal, Australia won four of the five matches they played in the Super 12s stage, and New Zealand have also registered as many wins before the semifinal against England.
The toss might play a big role in the final. All five of Australia’s wins came when they won the toss and fielded first. A total of 12 matches were hosted by Dubai in this World Cup, and 11 of them were won by the team who batted second.
Like most of the matches in this World Cup, the spinners might play a big role in the final as well. Adam Zampa has been one of the best bowlers of the event. He has all the ability to impress in the final. Though Finch, the Australian captain believes that the responsibility does not lie with any one person.
“I think like I said before, at some point throughout the tournament, everyone in our XI has had a match-winning contribution, which has been really impressive. I don't think it's down to one person,” Finch added.
According to Finch, in a big game like the World Cup final, everyone needs to come up and execute the duty they have. He said: “(To win) everyone to chip in their part and that is a part of the pressure of a final and if it’s your day as an individual, trying to maximize that and go in as big as you can.”
New Zealand captain Kane Willaimson is also looking forward to winning the World Cup for his nation.
“It (winning WC) would be some achievement. But you know, where it stands at the moment is there's a game of cricket to play, and for us, it's focusing on that and focusing on our cricket and looking to go out there and implement those things that are important to us,” Williamson said in the pre-final press conference.
New Zealand will miss the services of Devon Conway, their wicketkeeper, in the final. He broke his hand after punching his bat out of frustration after getting out against England.
“Obviously the loss of Devon is a big one. You know, he's been a big part of all formats for us, and you know, a disappointing and really freak thing to happen. But for us, it's keeping our focus on the task, and all the players really excited with the opportunity tomorrow to go out,” Williamson added.
Before the World Cup final, New Zealand and Australia faced each other in 14 T20Is with Australia winning nine of those, and losing only four. But this stat is unlikely to play a major role when the two teams lock horns in the final.