For them, now is a new challenge playing for the first time in Australia. I believe this won’t really play a huge factor because it’s mainly been about the way New Zealand have been going about this tactically. Trent Boult and Tim Southee have been excellent up front with the new ball, so they will enjoy the extra bounce from the MCG wicket. Brendon McCullum has attacked the quickies at the top of order like no other. If he can get the Kiwis off to another flying start, it will help them structure their innings.
Also now they have a number of other players playing well. This has given this group their best chance ever of winning an ICC Cricket World Cup. The journey up to this point has been an amazing ride for all the players, I am sure. Straight after the Champions League last year in October, Brendon McCullum and his team visited the MCG back and they spoke about 29 March when they would return here and play in the World Cup final.
So, you might say excellent preparation by the management staff at New Zealand cricket for its foresight!
Australia have already had that experience of the MCG with their first game against England where they played so well and launched their World Cup campaign. I happened to be there as well to feel the atmosphere it was just brilliant 84,000 people really enjoying every minute. I personally went and stood in the MCG Members area when Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell were going well.
This will be New Zealand’s challenge, playing in a stadium like this and not having the same support. New Zealand has played all its matches in their country at some of the smaller and most unique grounds, which are picturesque. I am sure plenty of Black Caps followers will be making the journey as I write because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.