From Ehsan Qureshi in Dubai
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
A new champion is set to Emerge on the horizon as Australia clash with New Zealand in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup at Dubai Cricket Stadium on November 14.
It’s for the first time when the two neighbor countries, bisected by Tasman Sea, are up against each other in the final of the World Cup in the shortest format of the game.
Australia, having annexed the 50 overs World Cup a record four times, reached T20 World Cup final once where they lost to England in West Indies in 2010.
Aaron Finch’s Australians team, which pulled off a stunning five-wicket win over favourites Pakistan in the semifinals, remains in the happier frame of mind entering the final.
Middle-order Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis snatched the game from jaws of defeat after the middle-order had tumbled against Pakistan in their previous outing at the same ground.
But I firmly believe that T20 is a lottery and a solitary freak performance can change the course of the game in blink of an eye as Wade demonstrated by blasting Pakistan’s speedster Shaheen, who had starred in the opening game against India.
On the other hand, Blackcaps, led by Kane Williamson, shocked Eoin Morgan's higher-ranked England in the other semifinal at Abu Dhabi. Like Wade and Stoinis, Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell were the heroes as they came from difficult position to turn the game with brutal hitting against top death bowlers Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes.
The brand of cricket, Australia and New Zealand play, and the kind of fighting qualities these two neighbouring countries, it would be difficult to predict the outcome.
The experienced duo of Williamson and Martin Guptill has the firepower to muscle any bowling attack while Tim Southee and Trent Boult are the two seasoned fast bowlers in their line-up who make New Zealand a most formidable outfit. How do they fare against the Australians in the final remains to be seen!
Apart from skipper Finch and David Warner, the Australian batting revolves around Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell with Stonis and Wade to follow in the middle-order. The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh By Hazelwood, backed by leg-spinner Adam Zampa, has the potential to unsettle any batting side.