It’s the all important final of the tri-series. New Zealand and Australia go head to head with the former still to lose a match, and the former winning just one match in the entire series. New Zealand have consistently scored in excess on 190, but the results have not gone their way. Australia, on the other hand, have successfully chased anything that has been thrown at them, including a target of 243.
Both teams are in red-hot batting form, promising another run-fest. Will Australia stay unbeaten and clinch the final and the number one T20 ranking, or will New Zealand finally break through their defenses?
David Warner (c), Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ben Wheeler, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Anaru Kitchen, Mark Chapman, Henry Nicholls
Where the teams stand
Australia are the obvious favorites for this match and they know it. They have been in superb form with both, bat and ball. Their team looks almost invincible, and this is what a team full of big-hitters in form can do. Maxwell, Finch and Lynn form perhaps the best middle order in T20 cricket worldwide, especially given how consistent Maxwell has been. D’ Arcy Short played a terrific innings at the top of the order in the last match as well, taking his team to a record highest chase. With Warner partnering him at the top, those three in the middle, and Stoinis after them, it doesn't get much better than this.
Bar the last match, a huge part of the Aussies’ success has also been their bowling. They have restricted their opposition to decent totals and then chased them down with utmost ease. Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, and Billy Stanlake have all been excellent. They compliment each other well, with either of them taking the wickets while the others chip in as well while staying economical. Even Ashton Agar has been handy as a slow bowler, completing his overs with minimal hassle and maybe a wicket to go with it. This match is already half in the bag for them.
One of the most frustrating things right now is undoubtedly being a Kiwi fan. They have scored in excess of 190 in all of their last three matches, but have won only one of them. Colin Munro regaining his form has been a huge boon for the Kiwis, and he will need to help Martin Guptill either chase a huge target or set one up. Kane Williamson will be another integral part of the batting. He will need to be the one holding the middle order together. Mark Chapman has the potential for some late big-hitting, allowing the captain to push Colin a little higher up the batting order. Ross Taylor has been playing too low in the order as well, and will benefit from a promotion. New Zealand need to send one of their pinch-hitters up the order to make sure their scoring rate is consistently on par with what is required for Australia.
The main problem for New Zealand lies with their bowling. The attack has been far too expensive, with even bowlers like Boult failing to rein in the economy. This is why they have failed to win despite scoring 190+ consistently. This has been their only Achilles Heel in the last few matches, one they will need to overcome to even have a fighting chance of defeating the Aussies.
Australia win. They have been far too good this series, and it will be a huge disappointment if they lose the final.