November 13, 2021
If the Black Caps can end their poor form against Australia, the game they wanted least could also yield the sweetest victory
New Zealand take on Australia and history in T20 World Cup final | Geoff Lemon
If New Zealanders had a choice of opponent in Sunday’s T20 World Cup final, the average preference would surely be anyone but Australia.
This isn’t about the power dynamics of relative size, because New Zealand’s defining characteristic as a Cricket team has become the ability to match up against opponents with even more economic and population disparity than there is between the bookends of the Tasman Sea. But for other less tangible reasons, whether or not they involve the regional friendship and rivalry between the countries, Australia are indisputably New Zealand’s bogey side, the team that beats the Black Caps no matter how well either side is going. The past doesn’t always define the future, and there is of course no reason why this New Zealand team couldn’t be the one to break the pattern. A similar hold ended at this same tournament, when Pakistan ignored decades of World Cup losses to India with a powerful 10-wicket pasting. But the historical record includes very recent history, and it remains another obstacle to overcome.
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