Subplots everywhere on Boxing Day

Subplots everywhere on Boxing Day


Match facts

December 26-30 Melbourne Cricket Ground
Start time 1030 (0230 GMT)

John Inverarity and Darren Lehmann during an Australia training session, Melbourne, Dec 23, 2013

Big Picture

Test cricket’s biggest day of a year will lift copiousness of highlight even yet a destiny of a Ashes has been quickly decided. Australia’s impetus to a 3-0 domain from as many matches caused a vital escape of fun and service opposite a horde nation, while England was held adult in a identical turn of disbelief, annoy and finger-pointing. Having had a few days to get their heads around a fact that a Urn will not be drifting north during a finish of a series, a combatants now embark a competition that might remove a merest fragment of tragedy yet really small intrigue. If anything a outcome in Perth means that Melbourne will be focused some-more strongly on people rather than teams – players on both sides will be fighting for validation, clearance and some additional points over opponents they have fought opposite 8 matches and dual nations already this year.

Australia have shown positively no enterprise to rein themselves in after building unstoppable movement by a initial 3 matches of a series. Theirs is a group of a now, with each goal of creation a many of that richly rewarding present. It should not be mislaid that many members of this group not usually gifted a detriment of a Ashes during home in 2010-11, yet were also partial of a many degrading day of that array – a Boxing Day on that they were gutted for 98 afterwards seemed unable to stop England rolling to 0 for 157 during a close. There will be copiousness of emotional among Michael Clarke’s group to atone for that day, while also pulling on to a wider domain than a benefaction one.

For England there is a need to stop a slip that has now cost them not usually a Ashes yet dual members of a strange furloughed party. The clarity of a clever and successful side violation adult is flourishing stronger by a day, withdrawal Alastair Cook, Andy Flower and their players battling for congruity in thought, word and deed. Rightly or wrongly, Graeme Swann’s interruption shot has offering an discernment into a groups that do exist within a team, a sorts of rifts that open serve when placed underneath a highlight of defeat. Having mislaid so comprehensively, a tourists contingency start to consider about who they wish in their group for a future, and Melbourne will be a start of that classification of wheat from chaff.

Form guide

Australia: WWWDL
England: LLLDW

Players to watch

In a array of Australian triumphs, Chris Rogers has been a pale yet subtly successful member of a team. He struggled for batting stroke early in a array and when he found it in Perth chanced an overexcited singular that cost him a possibility of a estimable initial innings total in a pivotal match. The exit of Swann, a bowler who has kept Rogers transfixed on a batting double some-more mostly than not, offers a Victorian left-hander some timely respirating room, and he would adore zero some-more than to make a arrange of measure that would seaside adult his place in a group and also build certainty forward of destiny battles in South Africa.

If it is unpleasant to doubt a joining of Kevin Pietersen to England’s cause, afterwards it is positively inestimable to query a peculiarity of his batting in this series. Corralled so effectively by a Australian pacemen and also Nathan Lyon, his response to capable formulation has been disappointingly prosaic for a actor of such undoubted class. In a group atmosphere thick with thoughts about convalescent a Ashes during a subsequent time of seeking in 2015, Pietersen is in need of an innings to infer he can still dupe high category bowling as many for his possess assent of batting mind as to answer a critics who take such pleasure in chirping during him from a boundary’s edge.

Team news

An unvaried group appears approaching as Australia find to make their fortitude a virtue. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger wait in a wings.

Australia (possible) 1 Chris Rogers, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Steven Smith, 6 George Bailey, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Nathan Lyon.

Jonny Bairstow is a clever possibility to reinstate a out of sorts Matt Prior. Monty Panesar will come in for a late Graeme Swann, while Stuart Broad is firming to be fit following a badly painful feet he suffered in Perth.

England (possible) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Michael Carberry, 3 Joe Root, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Tim Bresnan, 10 James Anderson, 11 Monty Panesar.

Pitch and conditions

Melbourne’s drop-in representation can be approaching to offer a spirit of dampness early on before flattening out and afterwards drying after in a match. The continue foresee is comfortable to hot.

Stats and trivia

  • England have not mislaid a array by a domain larger than 3-0 given their 5-0 better in Australia in 2006-07

  • Kevin Pietersen needs 63 runs to pierce past Geoff Boycott and into fourth place in England’s all-time list of Test run scorers

  • It is probable a Boxing Day assemblage will surpass a long-standing record for a largest central singular day Test compare crowd, a 90,800 who attended a MCG during a 5th Test of a 1960-61 array between Australia and West Indies. The assemblage on Boxing Day 2010, a prior Ashes tie during a ground, was 84,345


“Momentum is a singular and changed commodity. When we have it we run with it as tough as we can since you’re never certain how prolonged it will last. You could run with it for a week, a month, 6 months, a year, and you’ve got to make a many of it, generally this team.”
Michael Clarke isn’t penetrating to be too free to England this holiday season.

“I played a year or dual before he came into a side yet we beheld straightaway that he done people suffer personification cricket for England, maybe some-more than when we initial started.”
Alastair Cook reflects on Graeme Swann.

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