Finally, the big day has arrived. After witnessing over a month of hard work and close matches, the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup will see Australia vs. New Zealand in the finals.
Both teams have been co-hosts and in fantastic form while at it. Where the Kiwis have maintained an unbeaten record, Australia entered the final facing one defeat that too at the hands of New Zealand in the Pool match.
Australia has entered the finals for the sixth time in as many as eleven editions of the tournament. New Zealand, on the other hand, is a first-time entrant in the finals of cricket’s biggest event.
It is only the second time in the tournament’s history that co-hosts have entered the World Cup finals. The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup saw India and Sri Lanka face one another at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Australia, without a doubt, would be the favourites entering in this match, since the match takes place in their own backyard. New Zealand would definitely face troubles with hitting sixes, as the MCG is larger than all stadiums in New Zealand.
Michael Clarke has faced physical ailments even before the tournament began and has not been in the best of touch. He also announced retirement from ODIs this morning and will play the World Cup final as his last match.
Brendon McCullum appeared explosive in the Pool games, but his performance unfortunately has deteriorated ever since. But on the plus side, New Zealand’s middle-order has performed steadily.
Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson would be the players to look out for in tomorrow’s game. Smith scored century against India in the semi-final match which proved handy in their opponents crashing out of the tournament.
For New Zealand, it will be Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Grant Elliott, who will prove to be the deciding factor.
Both teams look evenly matched having played many close games in the past.
New Zealand has played all its matches in their home nation. Australia played one match in New Zealand against the hosts that they lost by one wicket.
Since this match will be their first game in Australia, it will be interesting to witness how the Kiwis handle the pressure Down Under.