Melbourne: Former Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden on Thursday said that New Zealand will struggle with the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Sunday's cricket World Cup final here.
Co-hosts New Zealand entered the final of the mega event for the first time with a victory over South Africa on Tuesday. The Black Caps have played all their World Cup matches so far at home.
But now they travel to Australia to play the final at the iconic MCG, a much bigger ground compared to those in New Zealand.
"There were a number of times on Tuesday where the New Zealand batsmen appeared to be hitting big balls but they'd be getting caught three quarters of the way to the fence at MCG," Hayden was quoted as saying by The New Zealand Herald.
New Zealand has a number of big hitters in their squad, especially in the top. While captain Brendon McCullum has hit 17 sixes in the tournament, opener Martin Guptill has hit 15, including the two biggest sixes of the tournament.
The MCG has averaged just under five sixes a match during the tournament while a record 30 were struck in the quarterfinal at the Wellington Regional Stadium and 16 on Tuesday at Eden Park, Auckland.
"They're going to have to change the way they hit the ball. Let's be honest, the size of Eden Park is ridiculous. It shouldn't be a cricket ground. If you can half throw it from the long off boundary to the opposite end it's too small," the 43-year-old said.