Every cricketer's dream is to play a Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. The atmosphere at the iconic MCG in a Boxing Day Test is something unreal and cricketers crave to be a part of it. With Australia slated to host New Zealand in a Boxing Day Test, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson has expressed his side's eagerness to be a part of history.
It was 32 years ago when New Zealand was involved in a nail-biting Boxing Day Test in Melbourne; it was also their last Boxing Day Test at MCG. Back in 1987, New Zealand were on the verge of a famous victory in Melbourne. With Australia reeling at 230/9, the Kiwis were all set to square the series 1-1. However, the pair of Mike Whitney and Craig McDermott defied the odds and survived the final few overs to salvage a draw.
Also see - IPL 2020 Teams & Squads
The surface at the MCG has come under the scanner in recent times. A Sheffield Shield game involving Victoria and Western Australia had to be called off, owing to too much uneven bounce. Even the track prepared for the second Test between Australia and New Zealand looks bowling friendly with a tinge of green. However, Williamson is yet to decide whether to bat or field if he wins the toss. The Kiwi skipper said on Wednesday,
"We'll have to have a look tomorrow. There's still quite a bit of time and as we've seen in Australia in the past. You give the pitch a day and it can change considerably. So once again, another decision that will be considered and made tomorrow."
Williamson further reiterated the fact that the New Zealand players were very eager to take part in the Boxing Day Test at an iconic venue like the MCG.
"It's a brilliant opportunity. I guess there's a sort of a sense of romance about being involved in the Boxing Day Test. I know we always play cricket on Boxing Day but I think there is only one Boxing Day Test and that's the one over here. It's a really cool opportunity that the guys are looking forward to.
"They've all grown up watching the Boxing Day Test, whoever's sort of been involved. So it's quite cool to be a part of. But it's also about removing a little bit of that and just bringing the focus back to the cricket and making sure we make some of those improvements that we need to, to put a better performance."
New Zealand are currently 1-0 down in the three-match Test series after suffering a 296-run defeat in the opening Test. New Zealand's batting performances came under the scrutiny as the top and the middle order failed to provide stability. Despite their indifferent performance with the bat, the bowlers put up a good show. However, the Australian fast bowlers proved to be too hot to handle as New Zealand succumbed to a huge defeat.
"Obviously, Perth was tough and Australia were very good and tactically sound as well. It's important that we learn from some bits of Perth but also turn our focus to Melbourne here and the change in conditions that we'll experience and perhaps not be too reactive to that performance.
"So, it's about making small improvements, and all the individuals been working really hard to try and make some of those adjustments. It was certainly a contrasting experience to perhaps the series before. That's important and then as a group to bring our focus back to what's important to our cricket. I think at times when you do have a performance that doesn't quite go the way it wanted to, you can at times look outside. But it's coming back to what's important to our cricket and putting out our best performances."Published 25 Dec 2019, 16:32 IST