The two host nations will meet again on March 29, when the New Zealand All Blacks clash with Australia at the MCG in Melbourne for Cricket’s ultimate prize.
So expect both squads to come out guns blazing as they look to claim the title of world’s best team, and you can catch all the action with a 2 week Free Trial Offer to watch it live on your Mac, Xbox 360, Playstation, PC, Blu-ray Player or Smart TV, with options for streaming to mobile devices.
2015 Cricket World Cup Preview
The Australians come into the 2015 World Cup Final as one of two host nations and have rebounded quite nicely from their earlier defeat by the Black Caps. They played the game of this tournament against rivals India, posting 329 runs, the first time in history any team has topped the 300 mark in a World Cup semifinal.
Australia will enter the match with much confidence, as they will have a significant home ground advantage at the spacious MCG, and will be gunning their fifth World Cup title. They’ll also be looking to revenge their group play loss against the Black Caps, the only team to beat them in this year’s tournament.
The New Zealand squad enters off an epic win over an in form South Africa team. In their 4 wicket win against the Proteas, Grant Elliott stepped up and hit Dale Steyn into the stands for six to seal the victory in the final moments. This dramatic win sent the Black Caps to their first-ever Cricket World Cup final, where they will face their biggest challenge yet on the mammoth grounds of the MCG.
With bragging rights and $5 million AUD in prize money up for grabs, look for both teams to exhaust every available tactic on and off the field, in what is sure to be epic must see TV.
Australia (AUS) vs. New Zealand (NZ) Times
When: Sunday 29 March (2:30 pm Sydney Time)
Where: Melbourne Cricket Grounds, Melbourne AUS
Live TV: Fox Sports 3 (Foxtel) and Channel Nine or GEM
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Australia are the current number one ODI side in the world and entered the clear favourites for the tournament after outstanding form during their summer tour, winning a couple of T20’s against South Africa and playing some brilliant matches in their Tri Series win over England and India. This form continued into Australia’s World Cup opener, where they took care of England comfortably when registering a 111 run margin of victory and has continued through the Knock-out rounds.
Also not to be overlooked is that Australia has a big advantage verse New Zealand at the MCG, winning fifteen of the past nineteen ODI’s played against the Black Caps at the stadium. So look for Darren Lehmann’s crew to be ready to play.
Australia Players to Watch
Australia are blessed to have two great opening batsmen in David Warner and Aaron Finch. Normally it’s Warner who blasts his way to a big score, but he got out cheaply against England. Finch stepped up and scored a great 135 from 128 balls.
Mitchell Marsh came of age against England, grabbing 5/33 from nine overs, including the major wickets of captain Eoin Morgan and Josh Buttler. The future of Australian bowling appears to be in safe hands.
New Zealand Preview
New Zealand ran through the Pool stage and finished up with a narrow but strong three wicket win over fellow quarter finalists Bangladesh, followed by a statement victory over a strong South Africa side while coming off short rest.
Undefeated in all their matches, the Black Caps can take home their first ever World Cup, so expect them to leave it all on the field.
Black Caps Players to Watch
New Zealand is led by Brendon McCullum, a veteran of 243 matches. He is a blaster with the willow, having a strike rate of 91 and scoring 5500 runs during a career that spans 14 years. He absolutely tore the tournament to shreds, and is such a dangerous prospect for any bowler.
Trent Boult is a world class bowler who has been excellent for the Black Caps, and was named Man of the Match against Scotland, taking 2/21. He relishes facing the Aussies, so it’ll be a great test for him taking on the likes of Warner, Finch and Maxwell.
Australia Will Win If..
The opening batsmen need to fend off the opening 10-15 overs, and score at around 4.5-5 runs an over with a maximum two wickets to fall. Any more wickets, and NZ will be near impossible to hold out. Australia’s chances hinge on the performances of David Warner and Aaron Finch.
Black Caps Will Win If..
New Zealand has to handle the home crowd nerves. This will be their first serious test in the tournament, and their first major test of the past few months. They have been very impressive during that time, but now they take on the world’s best. They do have home ground advantage, and have been very impressive with both their bowling and batting.