T20 World Cup: Australia primed to break duck

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Australia coach Justin Langer during a practice session in Dubai on Saturday. — AP
Australia coach Justin Langer during a practice session in Dubai on Saturday. — AP

Dubai - They have failed to replicate their 50-over success in 20-over World Cups

By Reuters

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Published: Sun 14 Nov 2021, 12:22 AM

Australia captain Aaron Finch sees Sunday’s final against New Zealand as a gilt-edged opportunity to rectify a wrong by leading the team to their maiden Twenty20 World Cup title, the 34-year-old said on the eve of the match.

Australia remain one-day cricket’s most successful team with five World Cup titles and have also dominated Test cricket.

However, they have failed to replicate that success in 20-overs World Cups. The closest they came to lifting the trophy was in 2010 when England beat them in the final in Bridgetown.

“It’s one that’s eluded us in the past and the fact that we are here in the final gives us the best opportunity to rectify that,” Finch said ahead of the trans-Tasman clash at the Dubai International Stadium.

“I think it will be a great game against New Zealand. They are a great side and they have been in all the finals over the last six years. Yeah, looking forward to it.”

Since 2015 New Zealand have missed out on only one final — the 2016 T20 World Cup.

Australia went into the tournament having lost five T20 series on the trot and wriggled into the semifinals where they stunned the tournament’s unbeaten side Pakistan.

Finch said the Australia team were quietly confident of doing well despite their poor build-up.

“Everyone had written us off but we had a lot of confidence within,” the opener added.

“We were really confident the way that we were preparing, the way that our strategy was coming together.

“I think it hasn’t defied expectation. I think we came here with a really clear plan to win the tournament, and we still feel as though we’ve got the squad to do that.”

Sunday’s clash will be a rematch of the 50-overs World Cup final in 2015 which Australia won comprehensively in Melbourne.

New Zealand have since reached the final of the 2019 edition of that tournament and also won the inaugural World Test Championship earlier this year to emerge as the game’s best cross-format side.

Pre-tournament favourites India did not make the last four in Twenty20 cricket’s showpiece event, while reigning 50-overs world champions England as well, as former winners Pakistan, wilted in the semis.

But Finch shot down suggestions that Sunday’s contest will feature two teams who exceeded expectations by reaching the showpiece clash. “No, it’s not unexpected ... we came here with a clear plan to try to win this tournament,” Finch said.

“And New Zealand, they have been in every final for a long time now in ICC events. They are a great team over all three formats of the game. They are a team that can never be underestimated. I’m not surprised one bit.” — Reuters

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