So, it comes down to this. Two teams will enter the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, but only one will emerge as the victors and be crowned World Cup champions. Australia will be looking to win their first World Cup since 2007 and fifth trophy overall, while New Zealand will be on the hunt for their maiden World Cup title after reaching the finals for the first time in history.
Australia and New Zealand did face each other in the group stages and it was the Black Caps who emerged triumphant as they escaped with a nail-biting one-wicket win in a low-scoring affair. With that being said, the final on March 29 promises to be another heart-racing contest as both teams know that the World Cup trophy and national pride are at stake.
However, it is extremely hard to predict who will win this time around as Australia crushed defending champions India with no problems whatsoever in their semi-final match. New Zealand meanwhile have to thank batsman Grant Elliott for helping them reach the final as it was his unbeaten knock of 84 that knocked South Africa out and helped the Black Caps achieve something that they have never done before.
But, what can be said is that this will be the clash of the two top bowling attacks in the World Cup. It will be the Black Caps' pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee going up against the Baggy Greens' pair of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson. While it is impossible to say which pair are better, there is no doubt that all four of them can all be lethal on their day.
And, on that note, all there is to say is may the best team win!
New Zealand Key Player: Brendon McCullum – This will, without a shadow of a doubt, be the biggest test of McCullum's captaincy. He will need to lead from the front with the bat and in the field as well. If he is able to do this, the Baggy Greens will be in for a long night of pain and suffering, while the New Zealand fans will be celebrating, pumping their fists and looking to take quite a few catches in the stands as well.
Australia Key Player: Mitchell Starc – While it is just as easy to choose a batsman like David Warner or Steve Smith, who scored a century in the semi-final, Starc has already acquired the reputation of being one of the most, if not the most, dangerous bowler in the tournament. With 20 wickets next to his name at a jaw-dropping average of 10.20, New Zealand will have to be careful around this lean, mean swinging machine, especially since he skittled out six of their batsmen during that epic match in the group stages.
Prediction: New Zealand to win, but it is likely to be a nervy affair…