Sydney: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has identified New Zealand's veteran spinner Daniel Vettori as the key man on whose performance the outcome of the cricket World Cup final against Australia will depend.
Dhoni on Thursday said it may be the team with a specialist spinner who will win the World Cup. Tournament co-hosts Australia take on New Zealand in a trans-Tasman rivalry in the title round at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.
New Zealand were the first team to enter the final after beating South Africa by four wickets in a thrilling encounter at the Eden Park in Auckland Tuesday.
Australia thumped defending champions India by 95 runs in a comprehensive victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground here on Thursday.
"I think (New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel) Vettori's performance will be crucial," Dhoni was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Despite Australia's impressive form in the build-up to the final, some experts have identified the team's lack of a quality spinner as the only weakness, which opponents could exploit.
However, Vettori is not as fit as he used to be. His activity in recent years has been hampered by a troublesome back and a sore finger.
The 36-year-old has left his best years behind but would be keen to write the last chapter of a long and illustrious career story on his own.
"He is somebody who, in the middle overs, can really get wickets and he's not someone you can easily score off. So he will be the key factor," Dhoni said.
The left-arm orthodox spinner has picked up 15 wickets in eight matches so far. In 294 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Vettori has bagged 305 wickets.