A look at the numbers before Australia take on India in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Australia recorded its second consecutive win against India in Brisbane to take a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series. While it won the first Test by 48 runs, it registered a four-wicket win in the second Test in Brisbane.
Several records have been broken and new benchmarks set in the two Tests so far. For instance, MS Dhoni has now led India in 29 overseas Tests, a record for an India captain. Smith’s 133 in the first innings made him the fifth Australian to record a century in his first innings as Test captain.
With the third Test between the two sides starting on Boxing Day in Melbourne, here’s a look at the numbers before the all-important Test:
- Australia and India have met 88 times in Test cricket with Australia leading 40-24 with one tie and 23 draws.
- In Australia, it is far more one-sided with the home side leading 28-5 with nine draws in 42 matches.
- The teams have met 11 times in Melbourne with Australia leading 8-2 with one draw.
- The last meeting at the ground was in December 2011 when the home side won by 122 runs thanks to Mike Hussey (89) and Ben Hilfenhaus, who picked up seven wickets in the match.
- India’s two victories at the ground came in 1977 and 1981.
- Australia has won its last three Tests at Melbourne, and the last 16 Tests at the ground dating back to 1998 have all produced positive results.
- 10 of the last 12 captains to win the toss have batted. The exceptions – England in 2010 and Australia last year; both did win the matches though.
- Since India won in Perth in January 2008, neither side has won a Test match in the other's country. Australia lost 2-0, 2-0 and 4-0 in the sub-continent and India lost all four tests on the 2011-12 tour.
- Joe Burns replaces Mitchell Marsh for this Test. He made a career-best first-class score of 183 against New South Wales last month.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar is expected to return from his ankle injury.
- Gujarat left-arm spinner Akshar Patel (9 ODIs, 14 wickets at 20.28) has replaced Ravindra Jadeja for the rest of the series.
- David Warner is Australia’s highest-ranked batsman in sixth place. His last 12 Tests have brought him 1587 runs including eight centuries and five fifties.
- Steve Smith: First 11 Tests: 620 runs at 29.5. Last 13 Tests: 1290 runs at 67.89 with six centuries. He is now ranked seventh.
- Mitchell Johnson is ranked fourth in the bowlers’ rankings. Since the start of the Ashes series last year he has picked up 73 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 18.69.
- Shane Watson averages just 23.62 in his last four Tests with a highest score of 43.
- Brad Haddin scored 493 runs at 61.62 in last year’s Ashes series. Since then, he averages 8.36 from seven Tests with a highest score of just 22.
- Virat Kohli’s series in England brought him just 134 runs but he bounced back to form with twin centuries at Adelaide and is now in 19th position in the batsmen’s rankings.
- R Ashwin is India’s highest-ranked bowler in the squad in 14th place.
- Ishant Sharma’s last seven Tests have brought him 36 wickets at 28.86.
- David Warner needs 12 runs to reach 3000 runs in Test cricket.
- Steve Smith needs 90 runs to reach 2000 runs in Test cricket.
- Brad Haddin needs one dismissal to reach the 250 mark in Test cricket.
- If Australia wins the series 4-0, it will close the gap on South Africa to four ratings points, with India dropping to seventh, while a 3-1 win will reduce the Proteas’ lead to six ratings points.