'We’ve beaten them a heck lot' - Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson refutes claims of Australia phobia

New Zealand lost to Australia in 2015 ODI World Cup final before the recent loss at the T20 World Cup 2021 final.

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New Zealand lost to Australia in 2015 ODI World Cup final before the recent loss at the T20 World Cup 2021 final.
Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Mike Hesson, former New Zealand Head Coach, has denied the claims of the team having a phobia when facing Australia. Hesson’s remarks came after the Kiwis went down against Australia again at a big event, as they lost the T20 World Cup final earlier this week. Previously, Australia defeated their Trans-Tasman rivals in the 2015 ODI World Cup final.

Hesson, though, pointed out that the team’s loss in the final was more due to the edge of skill matchup Australia had than any phobia of New Zealand.

“Each side has got better matchups than others. We obviously do very well against India. Australia struggle against India. I think it’s just the way the side’s matchup against each other from a skill perspective, what we’re good at facing and what they’re good at facing. Australia tends to deal with our swing bowling a lot better than the Indians do. So, I think it’s more matchup than phobia from my perspective,” Hesson told during an interaction on Mornings with Ian Smith show on SENZ.

Hesson further reckoned that despite Australia ending up on the winning side at two big events recently, New Zealand have never been behind when it comes to bilateral events in any format of the game.

“I guess we’ve only really had two big occasions haven’t we (recently), the 2015 World Cup and this one in terms of finals. We’ve beaten them a heck of a lot in Chappell-Hadlees (trophies) over the last six or seven years, and we’ve basically retained it the majority of the time. I think we’re okay in bilaterals. It’s when we get to a big stage and more of their players have potentially played more big matches. But I don’t think necessarily there’s a phobia,” he added.

The two teams met each other in five-match T20I series earlier this year, when hosts New Zealand won 3-2. Kane Williamson and Co. are scheduled to tour Australia next year for three ODIs and one-off T20I, before the latter arrives in New Zealand for three T20Is in March 2022.

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