Australia and New Zealand are ready for a final showdown.
In what's been a magnificent event so far, the world T20 is coming to an end today. With both the teams from down under not winning the trophy before, the world cup will have new winners this time around.
Two teams that pretty much no one expected to be in the finals, have made their way in it. Many might've predicted an India - Pakistan final, rather hoping for it. But what we've got here is not much different in terms of the cultural rivalry. The Trans-Tasman rivalry is one of the underrated duels in the cricketing world. It might be because of the low population of the Kiwis. Less eye-balls, lesser hype.
The two finalist countries, even though being neighbours, embody a totally different approach to the game, or to life in general. The Aussies are generally aggressive, in your face, brash, cocky kind of a team. And with it, they've had more success than anyone in world cricket. On the other hand, the Kiwis have a different perspective on how to play the game.
The Kiwis generally like to be subdued, gently spoken, don't like to sledge a lot and always like to play the game with a smile on their face. They are tactical geniuses who know how to make the best use of available resources.
Aggressiveness is the only thing that might match between the sides. But both the teams have a different way of showing it. The Aussies try to sledge and put batters under pressure or try to go for boundaries even when not needed with the bat. Whereas the Kiwis put the opposition on the backfoot by being aggressive with their lines and lengths and their field placements, always looking for a wicket and not giving even an inch on the field.
Both these teams have made it to finals by some outstanding performances from certain individuals. Both the teams have flaws in their setup and gamelan. But how both the teams have overcame them to get here is quite a marvel.
The Aussies have implemented a bat heavy approach which has paid dividends to them in crunch moments. The Newzealanders on the other hand, prefer an extra bowler instead. It'll be interesting to see which tactic will work on the day, the day that matters the most.
Win the toss and win the match has been the template for the most part of this tournament, hopefully today's game doesn't follow suit. Fans across the globe still remember the finals of the last ICC event like it was yesterday, because of the drama it provided. Let's hope today's final at least gives us half as much joy as we had with the 2019 CWC final.
Injury Update: Devon Conway is out of this game with a hand injury and Tim Seifert is set to replace him.