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New Zealand lock horns with 'big brother' Australia in T20 WC final

The kiwis have always had a fierce rivalry with Australia, especially when it comes to sport. The fact that the two countries are so similar in their cultures and experiences hasn't brought them closer together but instead gave rise to a 'petty' rivalry.

New Zealand has had a 'little brother syndrome' when it comes up against Australia. They take pride in being the underdogs, a team that punches above their weight, one where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And when they do win, all sorts of 'David beats Goliath' comparisons are thrown around.

As the Trans-Tasman countries clash in the T20 WC final, their 'petty' rivalry once again takes centre stage. So are New Zealand really the underdogs this time? History tells us that the kiwis haven't won a knockout game against Australia in ICC tournaments. Their last encounter was in the 2015 WC final where Australia destroyed Brendon McCullum's New Zealand.

But this is a different New Zealand side led by their inspirational captain Kane Williamson. This is their third consecutive final appearance in ICC tournaments. They are somehow finding ways to defeat sides that are far more strength and depth.

Australia, on the other hand, have once again bought their A-game in knockout matches by beating Pakistan in the semifinal. They would look for a similar performance this time around too. The form of David Warner will give them a lot of confidence. The pace trio has been very effective so far considering the conditions in the UAE.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa has been a revelation this tournament and is their highest wicket-taker. Steve Smith and Maxwell haven't set the tournament alight but they will be key in handling the spin duo of New Zealand.

Australia have won all games when they have won the toss and bowled first. Their only loss came against England where they have been put into bat first. The toss will once again prove to be vital.

New Zealand will bank on their experienced campaigners in Martin Guptill and Williamson. The spin duo of Ish Sodhi and Santner have been very effective. While Santner has played the role of a container, Sodhi has been their wicket-taker in the middle overs. Sodhi has a good record aginst the Aussie batsmen who have 5 right handers in their top six. Apart from Warner, none of the batsmen score at more than a run-a-ball this tournament. Boult and Southee will look to target Finch's pads early on like Shaheen Afridi did.

It is going to closely contested match between two evenly match sides. Whatever happens there will be a new T20 WC champion.

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