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Bat Or Bowl First, “Fearless” Australia Out To Win, Says Coach Justin Langer

Coach Justin Langer on Friday said Australia will come out with a “mindset” of winning the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand regardless of the all-important toss factor. The flip of the coin has weighed heavily in the tournament staged in the United Arab Emirates with Dubai – venue of Sunday’s final – witnessing 11 wins out of 12 matches for the team batting second. Australia became the latest to win after opting to bowl first against Pakistan on Thursday when they chased down 177 with one over and five wickets to spare in the second semifinal.

“Finchy actually thought about batting last night because it was a big final but people talked him out of it,” Langer told reporters.

“Can’t deny the statistics. In the final, you know how close it got last night, it could have gone either way. Very important we have the mindset whether we bat first or bowl first that we can win from any situation.”

Australia were in trouble at 96-5 in their chase when Marcus Stoinis (40) and Matthew Wade (41) put on an unbeaten stand of 81 to halt Pakistan’s juggernaut of five wins in the Super 12 stage.

The left-handed Wade, a wicketkeeper-batsman, smacked pace ace Shaheen Shah Afridi for three straight sixes to close the game in the 19th over.

Stoinis also admitted the toss has played a big part in deciding matches but hoped the pitch in the final “takes that element of the game out of it, little bit more”.

Langer hailed the team’s “fearless” approach as he talked of Stoinis hitting a six off Shadab Khan one ball after the leg-spinner took down Glenn Maxwell.

“When Marcus Stoinis – the ball after the wicket – hit the six off the leggie, that’s what you call fearless cricket,” said Langer.

“And if you are going to win this tournament we have got to continue on with the way we played Bangladesh (in a group game when they chased won 74 in 6.2 overs), bat first or second, that fearless or aggressive batting is going to be crucial.”

– ‘Respect and friendship’ –
The trans-tasmanic contest will bring back memories of the 2015 50-over final in Melbourne when Australia beat New Zealand to lift their fifth ODI World Cup.

“We have been born up watching the All Blacks. The way New Zealand have gone about their business for the last few years has been outstanding,” said Langer.

“They are really Good bunch of blokes. They get on with the job and get it done. We have to be at our best like we have been throughout this tournament to beat New Zealand.

“Great respect and friendship between both teams. We are looking forward to this contest. Lot of history.”

Both the team are searching for their first T20 World Cup title after six attempts.

The coach praised the team’s balance starting with what he called as “one of the best opening partnerships in the world and in our history of white-ball cricket” between skipper Aaron Finch and Warner.

“Aaron Finch, Dave Warner is a no brainer,” said Langer.

“Mitch Marsh grabbed his opportunity in the West Indies. I have never seen him play as well he has been playing. So he is the final piece of the puzzle for us.


“Maxi fits in. Steve Smith is the Mr. Fixit. Talk about finishers and so pleasing to see Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade grabbing that opportunity.”

The former opener took over in the aftermath of the notorious “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering tour of South Africa in 2018 and was widely praised for rebuilding the culture of Australian cricket.

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