Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Ian Smith has said that the Kane Williamson-led side would not have wanted to face Australia in the finals of the T20 World Cup, but they would be eager to beat them.
Australia and New Zealand will square off in the finals of the World Cup on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “It would be huge. When it comes to the one-on-one matches we generally come off second best more often than not. I can’t remember us winning too many. From a personal point … it would be sweet to pull a one-off. We’ve gone close,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Smith as saying.
“I’m not sure [emotion] will come to the surface, but I think Australians will feel more comfortable. This is the opposition we didn’t want to play but the opposition we want to beat. It would be very sweet for us,” he added.
Smith also said that it would be great if the Kane Williamson-led side manages to defeat Australia in the summit clash.
“I think there’s always a bit of lingering animosity. Not so much from the players. There would still be older groups of fans who remember the underarm delivery very well,” said Smith.
“Of course they squared off in the 2015 World Cup final on the very same ground [as the underarm game], which we weren’t very good in [Australia won by seven wickets]. We have a lot of expectation and a lot of disappointment but, this time around, there is a great deal of hope we’ll follow through,” he added.
New Zealand had stunned England in the semi-finals while Australia got the better of Pakistan.
It is only the second time that New Zealand will face Australia in the ICC tournament FINAL after 2015 World Cup.
They had earlier locked horns in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinals where Australia successfully chased 287. Thus, Australia lead 2-0 against New Zealand.