Momentum is vital in sport — and winning a close battle against formidable opponents probably generates more of it than a few convincing wins over lesser teams. New Zealand, who were unbeaten in the group stage, have added the emotional exhilaration of getting past a mighty South African side in a last-over thriller to make the World Cup final.
So does this give New Zealand an edge over India or Australia in the final — that little cockiness that comes with knowing they can triumph in a nail-biter?
Subash Jayaraman, who has been covering the team for Firstpost and has even tipped the Kiwis to win the World Cup, doesn't think the way New Zealand beat South Africa will play a role in the final.
"India have played Pakistan already and nothing beats the emotions generated in that match. Australia have also played New Zealand in the group stages. These two also have very experienced captains — MS Dhoni has won a World Cup, Michael Clarke has won an Ashes at home and their players have played around the world and know how to handle big games."
Subash also talks about the ripple effect that New Zealand reaching the final will have on the nation's sport — a country where rugby is considered the primary game. "We saw the effect Martin Crowe's team reaching the 1992 semifinals had on New Zealand cricket, and they're reaping the benefits of that in this team," he says.
Listen to the podcast above for Subash's prediction of the final and what the Australians think of New Zealand's performances.
Updated Date: Mar 25, 2015 15:00:37 IST