VVS Laxman thinks Australia will have little advantage over New Zealand following the injury to Devon Conway in the T20 World Cup final. Dubai International Cricket Stadium will host the decorated clash on Sunday night.
Pakistan and England emerged as the favourites throughout the Super 12 stage but both teams have been shown doors in the semifinals. With a Trans-Tasmanian final set to unfold on Sunday, Laxman believes ‘there is little to choose’ between the two teams.
In his column for TOI, VVS Laxman wrote:
“There is little to choose between the two finalists, with Australia having the slight edge following the freak injury to Devon Conway. However, as history will testify, New Zealand is a side that can be taken lightly at one’s own peril.”
Meanwhile, both semifinals panned out almost in similar fashion with teams chasing having the last laugh in the final minutes of the game. Laxman stated winning the toss doesn’t guarantee success all the time.
“There was a touch of similarity to the way the two last-four clashes played out. First Kane Williamson and then Aaron Finch hit it lucky with the coin. Those were significant off-field developments, for this tournament has favoured teams chasing,” VVS Laxman mentioned.
“The toss, however, is only one part; it doesn’t guarantee success. In T20 cricket, it’s not even the team that plays better on the day that comes up trumps. It often boils right down to a brief, sharp passage of play,” he added.
England missed Jason Roy and Tymal Mills – VVS Laxman
England’s chances were dented by the absence of Jason Roy and Tymal Mills as they looked short on confidence with the bat.
“Clearly, the English missed Jason Roy at the top of the order, but more influential was the absence of Tymal Mills, because it robbed them of crucial expertise in the death overs,” the 47-year-old cricket said.
Pakistan, on the other hand, dominated most of the game before losing control in the penultimate over. That was when Matthew Wade smacked three sixes on the trot after respite.
“Pakistan were equally in command of their semifinal against Australia for nearly 90% of the way. They had batted with authority and flair to put 176, and in the absence of dew, should have made it six wins on the trot,” VVS Laxman reckoned.
“Despite David Warner’s fluency, they (Pakistan) had moved into the ascendancy after Shadab Khan’s four-wicket haul, leaving Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade holding the baby. The two had joined hands to steer the Aussies to a nervy win over South Africa in the opener, but the stakes were larger this time and the task stiffer. Again, they were equal to the task. There is no such gain saying what might have happened had Hasan Ali not dropped Wade with 20 needed off 10.”
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“That ‘life’ sparked something in the Aussie ‘keeper, who finished off the match with sixes off every of the next three deliveries. That they came against Shaheen Shah Afridi, easily the bowler of the event, merelyreinforced the value of intent and belief in a game of extremely small margins,” VVS Laxman concluded.
Q. Who will win the ICC T20 World Cup 2021?