" Hesson added his chief concern is to keep his players match-fit through the later…
Big Brother looks down upon Kid Brother. Big Brother seldom visits Kid Brother. Big Brother hardly invites Kid Brother over. Big Brother doesn’t like to play with Kid Brother. In short, Big Brother doesn’t give a damn about Kid Brother. But Kid Brother has grown up, and how. On February 28, Kid Brother beat Big Brother in a thriller in Auckland. On Sunday, Kid Brother will hope to knock the wind off Big Brother’s sails at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
It took Australia a whopping 44 years to acknowledge the Test status of New Zealand. It has been 27 years since Australia gave New Zealand the opportunity to take part in their prestigious annual fixture, the Boxing Day Test. It’s been six years since Australia last hosted New Zealand for an ODI series.
“It’s a dream come true for all the guys,” New Zealand pacer Tim Southee said 48 hours prior to the most important fixture in his country’s cricket history. “As a kid growing up, you either want to be an All-Blacker or a Black Cap, and this is as good as it gets. I am sure the guys are very excited to fulfill a childhood dream. (Skipper) Brendon (McCullum) speaks a lot about this being the time of our lives and the last couple of months, I wouldn’t replace that for anything. We never wanted it to end and we have made it last as long as we possibly can. One more big push and I’m sure it’s something the guys will remember forever.”
With 15 wickets at an average of 27 in this World Cup, Southee has played second fiddle to tournament leader Trent Boult (21). Swing is Southee’s forte and he hopes there will be some of that on offer at the MCG.
“A bit of swing will be nice, but I guess it hasn’t swung for us in every game but we have found ways to take wickets. That’s the beauty of our attack,” he said.
New Zealand, who have won eight out of eight coming into the final, are not too worried about the size of the MCG.
“We have got guys that have played a lot of cricket around the world, in various sizes of grounds, big grounds, small grounds. We have got enough experience of playing on big grounds. Although the grounds in New Zealand are small, we do have a couple of big ones. Hagley Park’s (Christchurch) reasonably big. We are not too worried about the size of the ground,” Southee said.
Southee also spoke of the Trans-Tasman rivalry.
“The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand does cover pretty much every sport and it is massive. We are probably seen as the little brothers from across the ditch and we do quite well in other sports too to compete.
Obviously Australia have done well, had the wood on us in cricket over the last few years but we are slowly starting to even that ledger. As a kid growing up, it was always Australia you wanted to play against. If you were playing someone in the backyard, it was New Zealand-Australia and things like that. Yes, there is a massive rivalry in whatever sport you are playing in New Zealand and you’re always wanting to have one-up on the big brothers.”