Cricket World Cup: Tim Southee says New Zealand undaunted

New Zealand's Tim Southee celebrates a wicket against Australia
Tim Southee took 2-65 against Australia in the group stage
World Cup final: Australia v New Zealand
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Date: Sun, 29 March Time: 04:30 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave & BBC Sport website, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app

Pace bowler Tim Southee says New Zealand will not be daunted by facing trans-Tasman rivals Australia in Sunday's World Cup final in Melbourne.

A 100,000 sell-out is expected at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where the Kiwis have not played since 2009.

But Southee, 26, said: "We're not too worried about the size of the ground.

"We haven't played here for a long time but there are half a dozen guys who were part of the last game we played here - we have good memories of that."

Tim Southee on New Zealand v Australia

Grant Elliott, who hit the winning runs in the semi-final against South Africa on Tuesday, did the same at the MCG six years ago as New Zealand won by six wickets.

When the two sides met in the group stage in Auckland four weeks ago, New Zealand triumphed by one wicket in a fiercely contested, low-scoring game at Eden Park.

New Zealand have won all eight previous games at this tournament without leaving the confines of their own country, having played to packed-out grounds - albeit mostly smaller than Australia's larger venues across the Tasman.

"The rivalry is massive - it covers every sport," Southee explained.

New Zealand at the MCG
NZ last played a one-day international at the MCG in February 2009
Against Australia, the Black Caps have won four, lost 14 and had one no-result - but three of those four wins have come in their last five visits
The Kiwis have also won four ODIs and lost one against other teams at the MCG (India, England, Sri Lanka and South Africa)

"We're seen as the little brothers from across the ditch. We respect Australia, they're a quality side and they're not number one in the world for no reason.

"But I'm sure we've gained a bit of respect for the brand of cricket we've played over the last couple of years."

Southee is likely to be one of six New Zealanders from the 2009 game who will play in Sunday's final, along with four Australians.

"As a kid growing up you either wanted to be an All Black or a Black Cap and this is as good as it gets," he said.

"I'm sure the guys are very excited to fulfil a childhood dream.

"Captain Brendon McCullum speaks a lot about it being the time of our lives. We wouldn't replace the last couple of months for anything - one more big push and the guys will remember it forever.

"It'll be a great occasion with close to 100,000 people screaming, but we've got guys who have played in big grounds in India, and we will embrace the challenge."

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 World Cup coverage.

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