Michael Clarke says Australia’s experience playing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will be a major factor in Sunday’s World Cup final against New Zealand.
New Zealand downed Australia by one wicket in a sensational finish to their low-scoring pool game in Auckland earlier in the tournament, but Clarke believes it will be different in Sunday’s final.
The Black Caps last played Australia in an ODI at the MCG six years ago and overall have won just four of their 19 ODIs against the Aussies at the ground.
‘I think the fact that the conditions will be different will certainly help us and we’ve played a fair bit of cricket throughout the summer at the MCG as well,’ Clarke told reporters after Thursday’s victory.
‘Conditions are a lot different to what New Zealand have been playing in New Zealand, but in saying that we will have to play our best cricket to win.
‘New Zealand have been the form team of the competition and they certainly deserve to be in the final. There is always that great rivalry between Australia and New Zealand and the fact that the two hosting nations are in the final is extremely special.’
Defeated India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said New Zealand’s biggest obstacle will be dealing with the size of the vast MCG arena after playing all their pool matches on smaller New Zealand grounds.
‘In New Zealand you can get away with quite a few mis-timed shots. Generally, in New Zealand you get good wickets but when you come to Australia you get a bit of reverse swing and the same time you might get wickets that are slightly two-paced.’ – AFP
BOOKIES FAVOUR AUSSIES
Bookmakers on both sides of the Tasman and further afield have installed Australia as firm favourites to beat New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne on Sunday.
The New Zealand TAB has Michael Clarke’s men, comfortable 95-run winners over previously unbeaten India in Thursday night’s semifinal in Sydney, as $1.45 favourites to prevail at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with New Zealand paying $2.70. – stuff.co.nz
BIG MONEY IF NEW ZEALAND WIN FINAL
The Black Caps are not just making history in this World Cup campaign, they are making some serious money.
Each squad member stands to earn about $400 000 from the tournament if they triumph in Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, against trans-Tasman foes Australia.
That money would be made up from each player’s share of the $5.28 million prize for the winning team, their share of the team’s earnings for winning six from six pool matches, and individual match payments.
Even if they were to lose the final and collect the $2.32 million runners-up prize, each player would walk away with more than $200 000 for their efforts. – stuff.co.nz