The 2019 edition will see the Melbourne Cricket Ground play host to New Zealand on the iconic day for the first time in 37 years.
The match is a long-awaited one for New Zealand fans looking to see their team play on Australia’s biggest stage. Given they have their own summer of cricket to host at the same time, the Black Caps had never been able to justify the financial hit in the past.
So, who wins this epic match-up?
The Aussies have a dominant record over their cross-Tasman counterparts in their most recent encounters, but New Zealand is a much-improved side in all formats that could seriously test the Aussies if conditions are in their favour.
What piece of history will this test provide? Will Kane Williamson’s men roll the ball along the pitch to stoke old flames?
We’re looking forward to what’s to come.
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2019 Boxing Day Test – Australia vs. New Zealand
December 26-30, 2019 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Victoria, Australia
Australia will enter the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand looking to avenge its 2018 defeat to India — it’s first loss at the venue since 2010 against England.
If New Zealand is to triumph it will have to create history. New Zealand has never won a Test Match at the MCG and has only ever won three test matches on Australian soil in their cricketing history.
AUS vs NZ Test match records
- Australia – 37 wins
- New Zealand – 8 wins
- Drawn – 18
AUS vs NZ Test series records
- Australia – 10 wins
- West Indies – 3 wins
- Drawn – 4
Last five Trans Tasman Trophy results
- New Zealand 0-2 Australia (2015/16)
- Australia 2-0 New Zealand (2015/16)
- Australia 1-1 New Zealand (2011/12)
- New Zealand 0-2 Australia (2009/10)
- Australia 2-0 New Zealand (2008/09)
While the long term and short term history between these two sides strongly favours Australia, the odds may not necessarily represent that this year.
New Zealand has been on a meteoric rise in its test rankings over the last 12 months and after a series of victories both at home and abroad, currently sit above Australia (5th) in the ICC Test Rankings in fourth position.
Australia will come into its summer on the back of a tough Ashes campaign overseas against England and is a team seemingly in transition after losing its most recent home test series to India, 2-1.
New Zealand, with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme, have a bowling unit capable of exposing Australia’s sometimes-brittle middle order, while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is the number one batsmen in world cricket in the game’s longest format and will lead a unit that is capable of standing up to Australia’s fast ball attack.
While Australian fans may look at New Zealand and remember all of the easy victories of the past, only a fool would take them lightly this time around.
We could have another ripping Boxing Day Test on our hands.
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Top 5 Boxing Day Test moments
With a tradition stretching back to 1950, the MCG Boxing Day Test has played host to some of the most memorable occasions in Australian cricket. Here are 10 of the best.
5. Sehwag smashes 195 on day one
Virender Sehwag single handedly turned the 2003 Boxing Day Test on its head.
After some early mayhem, including a knock to the helmet from Brett Lee, the Indian opener stood and delivered 195 runs off just 233 balls in front of a packed house on day one.
That included 25 fours and five sixes – a hell of a feat at the ‘G, no matter where the ropes are set.
A fair chunk of those boundaries came off the leg-spin stylings of Stuart MacGill, whom Sehwag tonked for 48 from only 35 deliveries faced.
And yet, after getting within five runs of a mammoth double century, the one they call ‘Viru’ fell to a rank full-toss from part-time wrist spinner Simon Katich.
The most remarkable thing? That dismissal came in the 79th over – some 11 overs before the close of play.
If he’d hung around, there’s every chance Sehwag would have notched 250 by stumps.
4. Thompson and Border fall four runs short
The 1982 Boxing Day Test match is widely regarded as one of the great Ashes fixtures ever played.
Much of that status is owed to the last-wicket stand between Allan Border and Jeff Thompson, as well as the nature of its demise.
Needing 292 to win the match and claim the Ashes, Australia were nine for 218 and staring defeat in the mouth when Thompson joined Border at the crease.
The pair held on until stumps, however, and began the final day needing 37 to win.
They had whittled that margin down to just four runs when Thompson, looking to poke a single, fended a relatively harmless ball from Ian Botham into the slips cordon.
What happened next has become one of the most replayed moments in Ashes history.
3. Warne grabs an Ashes hat-trick
If Shane Warne wasn’t already a bonafide superstar by then, his performance in the 1994-95 Melbourne Test cemented his status as world cricket’s foremost spin bowler.
England were on the ropes in the second innings, trailing by nearly 300 with only four wickets remaining after Craig McDermott and Damien Fleming ripped through the top order.
But few remember the details of McDermott’s five-for, and that’s because of what Warne did shortly after Phil DeFreitas walked to the crease.
Having already bagged six wickets in the first innings, Warne proceeded to knock over DeFreitas, Darren Gough and Devon Malcolm in consecutive deliveries to claim the first (and only) Test hat-trick of his career.
Malcolm’s dismissal was memorable not only for completing the treble, but for David Boon’s outstanding work at short leg.
2. Lillee bowls Sir Viv on the last ball of day one
Many rate Dennis Lillee’s lion-hearted efforts in the 1981 Boxing Day Test among the great fast-bowling displays in cricket history.
Australia had scraped to 198 all out on day one, with Michael Holding running riot at the head of a fearsome West Indies attack.
But the visitors’ commanding position was all but erased by stumps after Lillee steamed in and snared three wickets inside 35 minutes.
The last of those was the most memorable: the great Viv Richards, bowled through the gate with the final ball of the day.
The Aussies went on to win the match, with Lillee (7/83 and 3/44) and Holding (5/45 and 6/62) each taking 10-wicket hauls.
1. Warne’s 700th Test wicket
You couldn’t have written the script any better for this one.
Shane Warne, the proudest of proud Victorians, came into his home Test in the 2006-07 Ashes needing only one scalp to become the first player to take 700 wickets in Test cricket.
The Melbourne masses flocked to the MCG to see their favourite son make history, and they were not disappointed.
In true ‘Warney’ fashion, on the biggest stage imaginable, the great man dismissed England captain Andrew Strauss with one of the most celebrated deliveries of his vaunted career.
Warne went on to take five-for as Australia downed their arch-rivals by an innings and 99 runs.