Boxing day has a historic significance in Australia. It falls a day after Christmas eve and known to be celebrated as Labour off day.
Same way cricket is played in Aus and a new match starts on that 26th Dec at MCG; termed as Boxing Day test, where a team touring Aus plays the hosting side.
This has been an evenly fought series so far. India came in Aus with a favourite tag given Aussies are missing 2 of their premier test player Steve Smith and David Warner due to the sandpaper gate saga.
The series is levelled at 1-1 where India won the opening test at Adelaide by 31 runs and Aus making a comeback at the newly built stadium Optus Stadium at Perth.
India has played 12 test matches at MCG. 2 won, 8 losses and 2 drawn. Whereas they have played 7 matches on boxing day at MCG, losing 5 of them and 2 were drawn.
The last they played here was a drawn. India, for the first time in their history has a pace attack that has the ability to take 20 wickets, but are let down by their batsman.
They have played good cricket overseas throughout the year with not so much luck and more of selection blunder. Aussies on the other hand looks a team who will build on the confidence of their win at Perth.
The nerves are settling and it was their first win in test matches since the sandpaper saga. Tim Paine has looked composed as a captain and showing signs of doing good with the bat. On the other hand, Indian captain has always been chirpy and aggressive with the words as well as his performance.
Prior to the third test, both teams have announced their playing XI. Aussies have replaced Handscomb with Mitch Marsh, which gives them an extra bowling option as well.
India have 3 changes 2 of them are the openers missing out whereas Jadeja has replaced Umesh Yadav. Mayank Agarwal will make his debut and will partner with Hanuma Vihari, who is a makeshift opener in absence of P. Shaw whereas Rohit makes his way into the playing XI after missing out on second test due to injury and will bat at no.6. Who will have the upper hand going into the third test only time will tell but one thing is for sure, the series has been exceptional as a viewer and demands more of such contest for the test cricket to stay the GREATEST FORMAT OF THE GAME.
Anas Khan Mumbai, India