Ed Hawkins says ignoring the coin flip bias for the chasing side at Dubai on Sunday under lights would be foolish...
"If the flip goes their way we may well still get the option of them as a choice affair, or at worst 1.9110/11. And at the last hurrah, that could be the bet of the tournament"
Australia v New Zealand
Sunday 14 November, 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Australia reliant on flip
Australia are fortunate to have made it to the final. In a tournament with a toss bias for the chaser touching 65%, they have batted second five times. On the one occasion they didn't they were hammered by England.
But they deserve some credit. They had a longstanding issue with lack of aggression. That has been solved, or rather, the shackles have been cast off.
When allied with a bowling attack which had been the meanest before a ball was bowled, they have been far more competitive than many thought.
Against Pakistan they proved they have two finishers in Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade who are the envy of the competition.
Probable XI: Warner, Finch, M Marsh, Smith, Maxwell, Stoinis, Wade, Cummins, Starc, Haz-lewood, Zampa
Kiwis right at home
New Zealand have not put a foot wrong since defeat by Pakistan in their opening game in Sharjah. But they have also benefitted from the toss, winning key flips against England and India.
Still, their progression is simple to understand. They are the most consistent team in the world across all formats and occasional reports of them being 'everybody's dark horses' stick in the craw. They were third favourites to win the thing.
They will have to do so without Devon Conway. Conway has a broken hand. His likely re-placement, Tim Seifert, costs them around four boundary percentage points. Not that such a margin is likely to be significant in a toss game.
Possible XI: Guptill, Mitchell, Williamson, Philips, Seifert, Neesham, Santner, Southee, Milne, Boult, Sodhi
In 12 matches this tournament, 11 have been won by the team chasing. That's just shy of 92%. The dew slickens the surface, giving batters extra pace, and soaks the ball making it harder to control and catch. It's no wonder the likes of Chris Jordan and the esteemed Shaheen Shah Afridi missed lines and lengths at the death in the semis.
The first-innings average is 127 but that is a misleading stat. We think this is a fresh, saved surface. It certainly plays that way. More than 170 is the absolute bear minimum with the toss bias and if the team which bats first has its head screwed on they should be targeting 180.
To that end, both teams to score 160 with Sportsbook has proved popular. It's taken a cut but 13/10 remains a good wager. Both to score 170 or more is available at 5/2.
Batting second the key
We could spend ages deciphering the match-ups and where the game will be won and lost. Can David Warner survive Trent Boult's new-ball spell? Can the Kiwis cope without Conway? Which spinner (Zampa or Sodhi) will come out on top in helpful conditions?
But what really counts is the toss. How anyone can deny that the flip has been the ultimate equaliser is anyone's guess. Which is why we're amazed to see New Zealand as big as 2.486/4.
If the flip goes their way we may well still get the option of them as a choice affair, or at worst 1.9110/11. And at the last hurrah, that could be the bet of the tournament.
David Warner, whose return to form has been startling, will be all the rage for top Australia bat at 11/4, particularly with a bias for openers dominating this market at the venue. Steve Smith looks chunky at 6/1 if Australia bat first. Wade and Marcus Stoinis are 14s and 12s respectively.
Martin Guptill top scored in a head-to-head series in March but only Zampa of the Australia bowlers was available. He is 3/1. Kane Williamson is 13/5.
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