They say catches win matches and they’re right. But I’d wager fast bowling wins more. I’m not talking about your bog standard 85mph kind of fast bowling; I’m referring to 95mph, get the pulse racing and hold on to the seat of your pants type stuff. This is why, in my humble opinion, Australia will blow New Zealand away in the World Cup final.
I really hope I’m wrong folks, but I just can’t see the Kiwis pulling off an upset. The Black Caps have plenty of talent and spirit, but I don’t think they’ll be able to slow the likes of Johnson and Starc down. These guys take wickets for fun – they’ve been at it throughout the World Cup – and with 100,000 fans at the MCG baying for blood, it will take something extremely special for New Zealand to thrive. The sense of anticipation in Melbourne will be almost tangible, and I think Australia will be unstoppable in what will be a cauldron of nationalistic fervour.
Although it would be unwise to write New Zealand off – and anything can happen on the day – I just feel the Aussies have more firepower. I also think they have the mental edge. This will be the Kiwis’ first game away from home in the World Cup, and going from the relative tranquillity of New Zealand to a hostile MCG will be one hell of a culture shock.
I’ll leave you with one gruesome statistic: Australia have won the World Cup four times whereas New Zealand have never even reached the final before. The Aussies know what it takes to win the big prizes. Anything other than World Cup glory will be seen as a failure.
It’s completely different for New Zealand. Whatever happens tomorrow, their tournament will be seen as a great success. Their players are already heroes. Their victory over South Africa in the semis was a seminal moment in New Zealand cricket history – it was their cup final – and I think it will be too difficult to repeat the heroics, and play to their full potential, after the emotional outpouring that followed that exhausting win.
I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I can see only one winner tomorrow. I doubt the game will even be close. Sorry folks.
I think you are right James. I see it exactly the same way. Still, here’s hoping for the Black Caps. May fortune smile on them.
Very much hope you’re wrong James.
Starc has been sensational but one of the less noticed features of the WC has been how out of sorts Mitchell Johnson has been. He was behind Yadav on the speed-gun in the SF and went for 6-1-68-0 at Eden Park. I expect we’ll see some short stuff at McCullum after Johnson hit him on the arm in the Pool game.
David Warner has been another having a quiet tournament that hasn’t been much noticed (except one match against an associate).
Oh well, that reverse-jinxed MJ into finding something very near his best!
He bowled very well in the semi-final regardless of the speed gun. Stepped up his game massively in the two big matches for Aus. He’s very much a changed player as those are the games previously he would have choked in.
“Australia have won the World Cup four times”
. . . is true, but the 11 players who will be contesting the match tomorrow haven’t all done so.
Perhaps a couple of them will be overtaken by the occasion. Who knows.
My head says you are perfectly correct in your assumptions, but I can’t help hoping that the cricket gods give us at the very least a closely contested game. In which case, NZ might just have a chance of nicking off with the trophy :)
As we know, NZ have already beaten them in this tournament. The Aussies set a low total which they couldn’t (quite) defend. If Bren wins the toss, I expect he’ll bowl first again. Got a feeling this is gonna be an amazing game.
You can’t bowl if you win the toss. They need to bat and put 300+ on the scoreboard.
“The Aussies know what it takes to win the big prizes”
I don’t buy this as an argument. Both teams will know exactly what it takes – win the game. and I’m sure both teams have a pretty decent idea of what it will take for them to do that.
As it is, I think if they played 10 times, it would be about 7-3 to Australia. Lets just hope tomorrow is one of the 3, not one of the 7.
I think if they played 10 times, it would be about 7-3 to Australia.
Sounds about right… my gut just says this will be one of the three.
Oh you of little faith.This is a cricket match and anything can happen “Black Caps” forever.This is from a stubborn lady who has stuck by KP from the start and doesn’t know when to admit defeat.Baz my hero!!!
Won’t be 100,000 there, more like 90,000. For OH&S reasons the mcg hasn’t had a 100,000 crowd since the 1970s. Also the crowd will be more balanced than it normally is there are plenty of kiwis living in Australia and plenty flying in for the occasion.
I thought 100k was too big when I read this online myself somewhere. But Wikipedia confirms it is. Isn’t the MCG bigger now they’ve finished all the development work?
Realistically the capacity for a cricket match is around 92000, although there are 95000 seats (there’s room for 5000 standing, but you’d only see that for an AFL game).
I’m allowed to say 100,000. It’s artistic licence :-)
I’ve been to the MCG five times.
Oooh you lucky chap James. Mind Paul Newman thinks England is not interested in 50 ODI and only Test crickets. His excuse for England failure? Wonder what excuse he will come up with when England get slaughtered by NZ and then Australia? Can’t wait for that.
I think it will all come down to the bowling. Forgive me for being obvious but batting in ODIs is entertainingly risky. If it’s your day, you can be a matchwinner. If you’re a bowler, one bad ball can be retrieved by the next.
I’m cheering on NZ. Aussies have some superb quickies but they don’t have a Vettori.
quickly checking the AFL grand final crowd numbers they do seem to fluctaute in recent years between 95,000 and 100,000 so perhaps your right.
I didn’t see your post before I posted above. 100000 includes 5000 standing, which they only really have for AFL. There are 95000 seats. Realistic capacity for cricket (I think you lose a few for sightscreens) is around 92000.
Was pretty confident of our chances but all this support from English supporters is making me nervous.
“I’ll leave you with one gruesome statistic: Australia have won the World Cup four times whereas New Zealand have never even reached the final before.”
I don’t think the past is really all that important. I’ve followed cricket since the 1970s and have a vague memory even of the 1975 series. One of the thing about NZ’s past semi final knock outs is that although the side was at times a good one, you never really felt that the side was the best in the tournament, and in some ways would have needed a really flukey bit of luck, not just to have reached the final, but to have won it. This time there is no fluke or luck about it. No all powerful Windies or Australian team is standing in their way, and the side itself, if it wins will do so because it is literally the best around at the moment. Kiwi cricket fans, more than most, have a streak of pessimism in them (for good reasons) but I dont there has ever been a time when I felt that perhaps, you know, they are the best.
Expecting plenty of Kiwi fans at the MCG today. The airlines have put on extra flights over the Tasman, helped with a super charged kiwi $
and they will all be nervously waiting to see if the first ball swings
This article looks spot on so far, 42/3 after 14 and a bit overs.
I can’t believe anyone thought otherwise. It’s been a one sided WC (with maybe 2-3 good games), why would the final be any different?? It’s ODI cricket after all.. slog, biff, slog, biff, slog and biff. as soon as the bowling is decent, ball is moving they are screwed.
This WC final is a disgrace, Australia have been sledging needlessly all game and it’s just not required. Sledging needs stamping out the game and fast. ruins what should be a great occasion. Ignoring how poor NZ have been so far, batsmen gifting wickets left right and centre
Got the lottery numbers James?
I’d like to know as well.
To be honest I did not expect the Kiwis to, well, collapse like this. The whole team scored less than Guptil did by himself earlier. Maybe they should have asked for a game at the MCG during the group stage?
Mitchell Starc said they’d made a new little plan for McCullum… Aus obviously planned and adapted after that group game, and that problem-solving ability is part of what’s made them the champions
I don’t think McCullum was in long enough for any sort of plan to work. They just bowlerd a very good Yorker at him. (The delivery that England don’t think works in modern cricket) Perhaps that was the plan? But they have bowled good Yorkers all tournament.
It sounds like Warne when he used to claim he had a new delivery every Ashes series. Don’t believe they Aussie hype. They actually keep it quite simple. What they do is execute really well.
“It’s completely different for New Zealand. Whatever happens tomorrow, their tournament will be seen as a great success. Their players are already heroes. Their victory over South Africa in the semis was a seminal moment in New Zealand cricket history – it was their cup final – and I think it will be too difficult to repeat the heroics, and play to their full potential, after the emotional outpouring that followed that exhausting win.”
Exactly right, James. One of those classic cases where they gave their all in the semi. Still, great stuff Australia, and lovely to see their players all so happy and appreciative of their supporters.
Great words from both skippers!…..Cue the Windies…”Well. erm, um…we’ll learn our…er…lessons, the..um…dressing room is …er…bouyant, yes, bouyant, and we feel…er…sure that we’ll bounce back….erm…that’s it…I think?
This was spot on!
While I can understand the complaints about Aust’s sledging — Haddin’s send off to Guptill was especially stupid — I must say that at least it’s the opposition who Australia sledges and not their own players.
I’ve never seen any opposing player look as humiliated and dejected by an Australian’s sledging as some England players have looked after being screamed at for a minor misfield. It started under Moores and it was visible to me on their SL tour in –when was it 2008? (I noticed Sidebottom yelling at Monty, and having a look in his eyes that I haven’t seen since I was in high school, looking a t kid being bullied.)
And then of course jelly bean gate. Pig ignorant and stupid as some Aust players and fans might be (or are), I’ve never seen anything as disgraceful as that on a cricket field in Aust at any level. For all that’s said about what a decent fellow Moores is, he watched it all happen, just like he watched Cook screaming abuse at Angelo Matthews while shaking his hand.
And I hope Aggers has found a moment to reflect on his statements about wanting to confront Clarke with the idea that his sledging is letting down the memory of his deceased friend. I’ve never heard a worse sledge on any cricket field at any level. Well done Aggers, spirit of cricket and all that.
(Sorry for this outpouring of negativity. It’s not aimed at any commenters here, and I know I’m only echoing sentiments expressed here regularly.)
Winners don’t need to sledge, and they should stop it. But watching losers sledge their own team mates really makes me puke.
Yes, when will Aggers start throwing those eulogies at people?
Well said, dvyk. Nasty mean-spirited stuff, all of it. The moment between Cook and Mathews was shocking, I was watching it on TV and I’d have fined him his match fee at least. Oh, but I forgot, he’s such a nice guy.
Agnew appears to have lost the plot.
Sledging is part of Australian cricket. It’s an Everyman game there. It’s only seen as a problem when were whipping the poms or the moany,spoilt Indians( yes,there worse)
it is now…but old players will tell you that it never was before the 1970s.
Anyway, when do the mighty England start up the battle moped? When does the hype begin? Pfssst.
(Can’t be arsed to do a full pfsssssssssssst.)
still a ‘root and branch’ review surely to go yet?
Even though NZ lost the final, they won the hearts-and-minds contest in this tournament hands down. They didn’t just play extremely high-quality cricket; they played aggressive, ENTERTAINING cricket. The semi-final against SA was one of the best ODIs any of us have ever watched.
England have to wake up to the fact that spectator sport is showbusiness. Even if you lose, if you go down fighting in a way that’s thrilling and entertaining for the crowd and makes your fans proud to support you, people will pay to watch you play again and again. And your team, your cricket board and your sport won’t survive financially if not enough people turn up again and again to watch you play.
“Even though NZ lost the final, they won the hearts-and-minds contest in this tournament hands down.”
Is there a trophy for that?
The fact that their country suddenly cares about cricket again? The fact that more Kiwis are going to want to turn up to watch their team play now their team are a) good; b) entertaining? The fact that more ticket sales = more money for cricket in NZ?
Silverware is nice, but the long-term survival of the sport in NZ is miles more important.
Not to the ECB… All about money
Did you see Giles Clarke slimey useless idiot he is at the final, bet he didn’t pay for anything. Corrupt
Probably wheeling and dealing and seeing what else he can get his filthy mitts on. Slimy is just about right when it comes to him. Slimy and sneering miscreant.
There have been a few comments in various places about Australia’s sledging. Certainly Haddin’s reaction to Guptill’s dismissal was not a good look, and as an Australian I wish the team could act a little more politely. But, please examine the following picture from the NZ vs SA game…
Anybody who was rooting for the Kiwis as the “nicer” team should print that picture out and stick it on their wall.
Are you sure that is from this world cup? I think that is from a few years back.
Being bored, I shall reply to myself. It was an ugly incident but it’s from 2011. However, I think your point is most teams sledge and I agree. (I don’t mind sledging but I’m not a fan of a verbal send-off. On the other hand, I don’t mind the bowler pointing to the pavilion so that the batsmen doesn’t get lost on the way off the ground – that’s just being polite.)
You get plenty of sledging in club cricket in NZ these days. Its bloody boorish and tends to turn pleasant matches into nasty grudge matches. I hate it and wish the authorities treated it like the cheating that it is.
Has anyone seen this little beauty from Scyld Berry? It’s a cracker.
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