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T20 World Cup final: Can New Zealand finally break their losing streak to Australia in ICC knockout matches?

New Zealand have never beaten Australia in a ICC knockout match

Australia and New Zealand have never won the T20 World Cup before [Source: ICC]
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Australia and New Zealand have never won the T20 World Cup before [Source: ICC]

By

Anjishnu Roy

Updated: 2021-11-14T14:38:17+05:30

The grand finale of the T20 World Cup is now finally upon us. Neighbours and old foes Australia and New Zealand will meet each other in this blockbuster encounter at the Dubai International Stadium in UAE. If the semi-finals are anything to go by, we're in for yet another scorching thriller tonight.

Both the teams overcame overwhelming odds in the final overs of their run-chase to book their tickets in the final. Neither the Aussies nor the Kiwis have ever been World T20 champions before. While Australia did finish as runners-up in the final in 2010, this is the Black Caps' maiden final appearance.

While Australia has a reputation of being serial winners and is known as the dominant force, their opponents tonight are popular as 'The Nice Guys' and the Dark Horses. However, the billings are a major disservice to New Zealand's credentials given the roll that they've been on in international cricket over the last few years. This is their third ICC final appearance in consecutive tournaments.

Toss might end up playing a crucial role in the final of the T20 World Cup [Source: ICC]

What do the head-to-head records suggest when it comes to New Zealand vs Australia?

When it comes to T20 cricket, Australia holds the advantage over New Zealand. In 14 matches played so far, the Kangaroo nation has won on nine occasions while the Kiwis have managed five victories. However, the last time these two sides took on each other in a T20I series was during Australia's tour of New Zealand earlier this year. The hosts managed to win the series 3-2 on that occasion.

In the T20 World Cup, the two neighbours separated the Tasman Sea have met only once during the 2016 T20 World Cup. New Zealand won that game in Dharamsala by eight runs. However, a worrying streak continues to haunt the Black Caps. They have never won an ICC knockout game against Australia in four attempts. The two sides contested the 2015 World Cup final and the Kiwis would want to exact revenge from that final as well.

Individual stats and numbers from New Zealand vs Australia T20s

Martin Guptill is known to raise his game on the biggest stages and the Black Caps will need his experience desperately here. Guptill is the highest-scorer against Australia in T20I cricket and has chalked up 435 runs against them which also includes a mind-blowing century.

Australian skipper Aaron Finch's performances have been underwhelming in the T20 World Cup so far. He's the leading run-scorer against New Zealand with 251 runs to his kitty. Australia will hope for their skipper to join the party soon.

Black Caps spinner Ish Sodhi has proven to be instrumental and along with Mitchell Santner, the duo have kept opposition batters' scoring rate on a check in the middle overs. Sodhi has also picked up the most wickets against Australia, striking 16 times. He'll be desperately hoping for a few more tonight.

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