Australia vs India: What is the ‘Boxing Day’ Test? Here’s how Indian sides have fared in the fixture

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Updated: December 25, 2020 10:49 PM

Aus vs Ind, Melbourne Test: Ajinkya Rahane's men can take hope from the fact that the last time India and Australia met in a Boxing Day Test match at the MCG — in 2018 — India came up trumps thanks to a trademark gritty Cheteshwar Pujara innings of 106 runs (off 319 deliveries that lasted 481 minutes!) and Jasprit Bumrah's 9 wickets in the game.

Australia vs India What is the Boxing Day Test Here is how Indian sides have fared in the fixtureAustralia vs India, Boxing Day Test: The fixture is a hallowed cricketing tradition which involves touring sides playing a Test match game at the MCG on the day after Christmas, December 26 every year – or simply, on the 'Boxing Day'. (AP Photo)

Australia vs India, Boxing Day Test: The Indian team led by Ajinkya Rahane — stand-in skipper for the final three Test matches of the series for Virat Kohli who left for the birth of his first child — will face Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the “Boxing Day” on Saturday.

The fixture is a hallowed cricketing tradition which involves touring sides playing a Test match game at the MCG on the day after Christmas, December 26 every year – or simply, on the ‘Boxing Day’.

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What is the ‘Boxing Day’?
Although the exact origin of the ‘Boxing Day’ tradition is unknown, theories suggest that it relates to the practice of placing handouts in alm-boxes at churches which has been going on since Middle Ages. The offerings collected in these “Christmas boxes” was distributed among the poor and down-trodden on the day after Christmas, or simply on the ‘Boxing Day’ – hence the name.

Several Commonwealth nations celebrate December 26th as the ‘Boxing Day’ and Test matches are held in cricket-playing countries like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In the United Kingdom, most top-tier English Premier League (EPL) football fixtures are played on this day.

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How has India fared in Boxing Day Tests against Australia?
India’s performance in the Boxing Day fixture has been abysmal. India has played 8 matches against Australia on the Boxing Day and lost five and drawn two of them. But, Ajinkya Rahane’s men can take hope from the fact that the last time India and Australia met in a Boxing Day Test match at the MCG — in 2018 — India came up trumps thanks to a trademark gritty Cheteshwar Pujara innings of 106 runs (off 319 deliveries that lasted 481 minutes!) and Jasprit Bumrah’s 9 wickets in the game.

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Teams for the Australia vs India Boxing Day Test match 2020:
Australia XI: Tim Paine (captain and wk), Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Josh Jazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.

India XI: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

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