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WC 2015: Australia will feel pressure even if MCG is bigger than New Zealand

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Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden recently made a gibe about New Zealand ahead of the trans-Tasman World Cup final to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, March 29.

World Cup Special; Kiwi fans hit back at Hayden; NZ beat SA; Aus beat India

He said the Kiwis, who made their maiden World Cup final by beating a spirited South Africa in Auckland on March 24, will struggle in a big field like the MCG and that venues like Eden Park in Auckland is not fit to be called cricket grounds at all.


New Zealand supporters hit back at the former opening batsman and counter-mocked the size of the MCG.

Clearly, it is a reflection of the trans-Tasman rivalry ahead of the World Cup and Hayden was just applying pressure on the Kiwis who have played the entire World Cup in their own grounds. Even the group match between the two hosts was played in a New Zealand ground and it was won closely by the Kiwis.

But by mocking the New Zealand grounds, Hayden can't really play down the Black Caps' batting form in this World Cup. It doesn't look that New Zealand's big-hitters like captain Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Corey Anderson, Grant Elliot, Luke Ronchi and others will really make a miscalculation while facing the Australian pacers and instead, the home team will be under more pressure of expectations to win the cup.

Australia have played the World Cup six times before and have won it four times but they have never won it at home (Australia could not even make the semifinal in 1992, the only other time the quadrennial tournament was held Down Under). Playing the big final before a big home crowd is not something the most successful team in the World Cup is familiar with.

The size will not really matter on D-Day but the mindset will.

Story first published: Friday, March 27, 2015, 15:15 [IST]
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