T20 World Cup 2021 Final: Strongest New Zealand Predicted Playing XI against Australia

NZ will be playing their first final of the T20 WC while Australia had once appeared back in 2010 only to lose it to England.

New Zealand cricket
New Zealand cricket. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
Akash Ghosh

Sr. Staff Writer

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After being behind the game for most of the time, New Zealand found a way to somehow beat a strong England team to reach their maiden T20 World Cup final. They will now face their old-time rivals Australia, who are upbeat after defeating Pakistan in their semi-final in Dubai. The two teams last played in the T20 World Cup game in 2016, which was won by New Zealand. 

The team led by Kane Williamson is leaving a generational legacy. In the last two years, they have lost the final of the 50 overs World Cup by the barest of margins and then went on to win the ICC World Test Championship final earlier this year. They would be fancy winning the shortest format as well. Here is-

Strongest New Zealand XI for final against Australia

Openers (Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell)

Martin Guptill has played some crucial knocks in this tournament so far. His 93 against Scotland still remains the highlight of his campaign so far, but in total, he has got 180 runs. His strike rate of 131 is impressive considering how the conditions have been slightly tricky in the UAE. He got out early in the semi-final, but given his record against Australia, he should fancy getting a score. 

Daryl Mitchell, on the other hand, played the innings of his life in the semi-final to topple England. His knock of 72 was impressive considering the fact that it took him 40 balls to score just 46 runs and he went to the second gear at the death, scoring 26 runs from his last seven balls. He is currently the highest run-getter for his side with 193 runs and would love to add some more to his tally. 

Middle-order (Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, and Tim Seifert)

Skipper Kane Williamson has had an on-off tournament so far. Despite having 131 runs under his belt, his strike rate of 95 suggests it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for him as of now. Having failed in the semi-final, he would be upbeat and make a difference in the final. There is a huge crisis New Zealand has in terms of a middle-order player. 

Devon Conway injured his hand after being dismissed in the semi-final which has now ruled him out of the tournament. He is likely to be replaced with Tim Seifert, who will be taking the gloves from him as well. Glenn Phillips should bat at no. 4 while Seifert might be slotted at no. 6 behind James Neesham, just to not clog up the batting order with too many right-handed batters. 

All-rounders (James Neesham and Mitchell Santner)

James Neesham’s chips went sailing up after his brilliant knock of 27 runs from 11 balls in the semi-final. He played the role which has been designated to him and did so quite brilliantly. He also bowled two crucial overs, picking up a wicket at the death. Neesham might be called up for a similar kind of role in the final. 

As far as Mitchell Santner is concerned, the left-arm spinner bowled only one over in the semi-final because there were two left-handed batters operating in the middle. That won’t be the case against the Aussies and we might see him get a few overs. 

4. Bowlers (Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult) 

Trent Boult has been quite magnificent in this tournament, picking up 11 wickets, most in the team. However, he had an off semi-final, going wicketless in his four overs and shelling 40 runs. Until the previous game, his overall economy was less than six. Speaking of which, Tim Southee bowled another economical spell, picking one wicket for 24 runs in his four overs. He has picked up eight wickets and bowled with an economy of 5.75. 

Adam Milne had a better day in the semi-final than he has had right through this tournament. He bowled a spell of 31 runs and took one wicket. Ish Sodhi continued his good form as well, picking up one wicket and giving 32 runs in his four overs. He has picked up a total of nine wickets in six games now.