India, coming after registering their lowest total ever, set to take on Australia at the Melbourne cricket ground in the Boxing Day Test match. India will need to bat their skins out to stop Australians who are boosted by their bowling performance at the Adelaide Oval. In the absence of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami, the Indian team was forced to make as many as four changes to fit a balance for the Melbourne Test. Australia, on the other hand, is likely to field an unchanged XI with David Warner yet to get fit for the match.
Here are all the key stats and numbers ahead of the crucial 2nd Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground:
1 – The Boxing Day Test in Melbourne will be only the 2nd Test match for India since the beginning of 2011 without both Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma in the playing XI. The first one was also against Australia in 2017 which was played in Dharamsala (India won under Rahane’s captaincy).
1 – Pat Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah recorded bowling figures of 6/27 and 6/33 respectively during the 2018 Boxing Day Test match at the MCG. These are the top two bowling figures by pace bowlers in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy surpassing Ajit Agarkar’s 6/41 during the 2003 Adelaide Test.
2 – Ajinkya Rahane has won both the matches where he led India in Test cricket – against Australia in 2017 Dharamsala Test and Afghanistan in 2018 Bangalore Test. MS Dhoni is the only captain to win each of his first three matches as captain. In fact, Dhoni did go on to win his 4th match as the Indian skipper in Test cricket.
3 – India played three Test matches in 2020 – Two in New Zealand and one in Australia; they lost all the three matches while batting first only. Between 2015 and 2019, India was beaten only once while batting first in Test cricket.
5 – The Melbourne Test will only be the 5th away Test match for India featuring both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The duo played two Tests in the 2017 tour of Sri Lanka (Galle, Colombo) and one each in 2014 England tour (Manchester) and 2016 West Indies tour (Gros Islet).
5 – Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill are set to make their debut in Test cricket during the Boxing Day Test match. Only five players made their Test debut for India during a Test hosted by the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Kanwar Rai Singh and Khokhan Sen made their debut during the 1948 Test match while Hrishikesh Kanitkar in 1999, KL Rahul in 2014 and Mayank Agarwal in 2018 made their debut during a Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
50 – The MCG Test will be the 50th match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which began in 1996. India holds the edge over Australia with 20 wins in this trophy while Australia’s win in Adelaide was their 19th.
100 – The Boxing Day Test will also be the 100th match between Australia and India in Test cricket. Australia defeated India on 43 instances in this format while India has been victorious 28 times across the 99 meetings.
The coming game will also be the 50th Test between the two sides on Australian soil. The Aussies have won 30 times and lost only seven out of the 49 meetings at home against India in Tests.
113.5 – Steve Smith has a batting average of 113.5 in Test cricket at the Melbourne Cricket ground where he scored 908 runs in 7 matches with help of four tons and three fifties.
Smith scored at least one century in four consecutive Boxing Day Tests played in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 before missing the 2018 Test against India due to a ban. He did turn up in 2019 against New Zealand where he recorded scores of 85 and 7 respectively.
1990 – The last instance of a player finishing the year as No.1 ranked Test batsman without scoring a century in Test cricket was Richie Richardson in 1990. Steve Smith, who has missed out on a ton in both Tests he played this year, is likely to end as the No.1 ranked Test batter.
In fact, Smith has not scored a Test century across his last 12 innings since his 211-run knock during the 2019 Old Trafford Test. This is now the longest century less streak in Test cricket for Smith ever since his maiden Test hundred in 2013.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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