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T20 World Cup 2021 | Australia are favourites with New Zealand missing Devon Conway, says Scott Styris ahead of final

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Devon Conway has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2021 final with hand injury

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T20 World Cup 2021 | Australia are favourites with New Zealand missing Devon Conway, says Scott Styris ahead of final

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SportsCafe Desk

11/14/2021

Scott Styris feels that Devon Conway would be a massive loss for New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 final against Australia to be played in Dubai on Sunday. Conway, who stroked a 38-ball 46 in New Zealand’s semi-final win over England on Wednesday, has been ruled out with hand injury.

After a defeat in their opening T20 World Cup 2021 fixture against Pakistan, New Zealand have stormed through to the finals with five back-to-back wins. Their success has been brought about by an all-round bowling unit, and timely contributions from batters.

Up against Australia in the final, New Zealand will miss Devon Conway, who has been ruled out with hand injury. The left-hander had struck a crucial 46 in the 167-run chase in the semi-final against England, after his team was reduced to 13/2 in the third over. Earlier this year, Conway had stroked an unbeaten 99 in his team’s 53-run win in the five-match series opener against Australia, at the Hagley Oval.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris feels that Conway would be a massive miss for Kane Williamson’s men in the final.

“Conway is a massive loss,” Styris told Sportstar. “Australia is favourite and rightly so with no Conway there. He is an intelligent cricketer and high quality. He doesn’t normally bat four but they like him in the middle order with all his skills against spin in particular. So now how does New Zealand cope against Adam Zampa who has been brilliant? Glenn Phillips needs a big game. Phillips is also a keeper, so there aren’t any wicketkeeper issues.”

A recurring trend in T20 cricket in recent times has been that of match-ups, with captains operating bowlers depending on the batsmen at the crease. Mitchell Santner just bowled on over in the semifinal, with left-handers Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan in for a major part of the innings. As for Styris, the practice has “gone a little too far”.

“No, I don’t. I saw R. Ashwin’s tweet,” he said.

“And I agree. I played a lot of cricket with Dan Vettori and he would never have been a match-ups only bowler. I think it’s gone a little too far when you see captains only wanting to spin the ball away from the bat.”

Styris was especially appreciative of Jimmy Neesham, who produced a timely 11-ball 27 to set up his team’s five-wicket win in the semis.

“He has been great,” said Styris. “Talent has never been in question. New Zealand needs Neesham to finish games. He still has plenty to gain in that department but is making all the right steps. It’s the toughest role in T20 cricket these days. Finishing games off and holding your nerve. Jimmy has made great strides with this.”

Styris identified Glenn Maxwell as Australia’s key player in the final, and believed that the contest between the dasher and New Zealand’s spin-twins could well play a decisive role.

“Santner/Ish Sodhi vs Glenn Maxwell,” said Styris when asked of a potential game-changing match-up. “Maxwell can get on a roll. You take away a lot of the Aussie middle over scoring blitz if you can get rid of Maxwell. Getting your fields right is one key, the other is hoping Maxwell takes silly options, which he has done plenty of times in the IPL. But his match winning abilities have never been in doubt.”

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