Six key issues on the Cricket World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand

At last the Cricket World Cup comes to its conclusion with the final at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, featuring old rivals Australia and New Zealand. What are the key issues that surround the highly-anticipated final?

1. Both teams are evenly matched, so it is a question of who handles the pressure better. These two sides fought a nail-biter in the league phase, which New Zealand won by just one wicket at home. But this is a different setting, the MCG is huge and Australia have since upped their game, with a decisive 95-run victory against defending champions India in the semi-final.

2. New Zealand will depend heavily on captain Brendon McCullum getting them off to a flyer. He pulled that off amazingly well on the smallish grounds at home, but at the MCG, with its longer boundaries, he cannot rely on instinct alone. He is backed up by in-form batsmen Martin Guptill, Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson, while Luke Ronchi and veteran Daniel Vettori can all play a crucial hand at crunch time.

3. Australia's pacemen Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson are precise, quick and effective. Naturally, New Zealand should target the part-time bowlers, James Faulkner, Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell, for maximum runs. The home side, however, don't have a spinner in the Vettori mould. New Zealand's pacemen Trent Boult and Tim Southee are not to be trifled with, but the rest of the bowlers have to measure up.

4. The fielding on both sides is athletic and agile. Very few chances are likely to be missed and misfields will be kept to a minimum. So the batsmen will have to show dexterity to find the gaps.

5. The Australian batting is solid and they bat all the way down to No.10. It is in this department that Clarke's men will have the edge over New Zealand, especially in familiar conditions.

6. New Zealand are playing in their first World Cup final, while this is the seventh final for Australia, who have won four (in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007) and lost two - in 1975 to the West Indies and in 1996 to Sri Lanka. The onus in this final will be on New Zealand, who must not wilt under the big-match atmosphere.

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