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HomeCricket NewsCricket World Cup 2015 Final: Australia v New Zealand - Preview

Cricket World Cup 2015 Final: Australia v New Zealand – Preview

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Last Updated on 9 years by Charbel Coorey

Six weeks of action has come down to this. The two best sides in this World Cup will battle it out for ODI cricket’s greatest prize. Australia are formidable at home, winning 24 of their last 26 matches on Australian soil. New Zealand are undefeated in this World Cup, including a win over Australia and are in great form. It makes for a potentially great final.

Boult and Southee have been impressive this World Cup
New Zealand’s bowlers, led by the unbelievable Trent Boult, have led the way for their success. Each team that has faced New Zealand has had to deal with the challenge of seeing out the opening overs against one of the best new ball pairings in Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Steven Smith has had a golden summer and New Zealand will want to have a go at him early. The battle between New Zealand’s new ball bowlers and Australia’s top order promises to be fascinating. Also, Matt Henry and Daniel Vettori are capable of keeping the pressure so Australia can’t assume that they’ll have it all their way.
Starc’s 6/28 nearly took Australia home v NZ in Auckland
Then there is Australia’s bowling, who held their nerve brilliantly when India’s openers were on song on Thursday night in Sydney. Mitchell Starc has led the way, Mitchell Johnson hit some form with two key wickets against India, Josh Hazlewood is a reliable man for skipper Michael Clarke to turn to at the top of the innings, only going for 4.1 an over against India. Add the likes of James Faulkner, Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell and New Zealand’s batsmen will have to be on their game right throughout the innings to post/chase a score.
New Zealand’s batting will certainly be asked questions by this Australian attack on the large MCG field, a massive difference to Auckland, where boundaries down the ground were barely 50m. The Australian public has made clear of the struggles New Zealand may have on the MCG, with #MCGsobig hashtag gaining popularity. This is in addition to the fact that five of their players (Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Luke Ronchi) haven’t even played an ODI in Australia. This is in addition to the fact that New Zealand haven’t played an ODI across the tasman since 2009. This is in addition to the fact that this is their first ever World Cup Final. This is Australia’s seventh. Australia start deserved favourites.
Key for Australia to win:
Will Clarke be needed to play an important role in his last ODI?
Exploit New Zealand’s nerves. Sure, Australia will be nervous too with the pressure of the favourites tag and wanting to send Michael Clarke out on a high in his last ODI, but there are so many unfamiliar surroundings for New Zealand. If they can push New Zealand on the back foot early, you back Australia to go on with the job.
Key for New Zealand to win:
Familiarise with the surroundings as quickly as possible. I admire what New Zealand have done in this tournament. In the semi final v South Africa, they dealt well with the pressure of a close knock out match. They have to do the same in Melbourne. 
Key battles:
Trent Boult v Mitchell Starc & Australia top order: Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc have been the two standout bowlers in this tournament. They have both swung the ball and both took 5 wicket hauls in the meeting between the two sides in the Group Stages. The winner of the Boult v Starc battle can go a long way in deciding which way this game goes. Also, how much Trent Boult can swing the ball in Melbourne and how much he can test the Aussie top order will be interesting to see.
McCullum has been in devastating form this World Cup
Brendon McCullum v Australia opening bowlers: Brendon McCullum has done a brilliant job in transforming this New Zealand side in the last 18 months. He describes this period as the greatest moments in their lives. He’s a great striker of the ball and is capable of giving New Zealand a fast start. A strike rate of 191.81 in this World Cup suggests that Australia will want to see the back of him early.
Prediction: What a build up it has been. The two hosts contesting the World Cup final at one of the best sporting arenas in the world. Australia are deservedly favourites and with their experience in big games, their form at home and New Zealand’s unfamiliarity with conditions, a New Zealand win would be a bit of a surprise despite their own great form. Australia to win and lift the World Cup.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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