Explained: What Is A Boxing Day Test Match?
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Explained: What Is A Boxing Day Test Match?

Virat Kohli, Tim Paine
Virat Kohli, Tim Paine with the Border-Gavaskar trophy. (Photo: Getty)

The 26th December of 2020 will witness yet another Boxing Day Test match between Australia and India. Aside from the usual excitement about the Boxing Day Test, the recent rivalry between Australia and India has also kept the fans hooked. Thus, before discovering why the day is not as Boxing, we shall learn the current state of the series between Australia and India.

Australia and India will lock horns in Melbourne from Saturday as the latter will look to bounce back from their eight-wicket loss in the first Test in Adelaide. The tourists could not have asked for a start worse than the one endured at the Adelaide Oval as Australia skittled them for 36 – their lowest score in Test cricket to spark a turnaround for the ages. The home side had a target of only 90 to chase down eventually and they did it successfully.

Explained: What Is A Boxing Day Test Match?
Tim Paine (L) and Justin Langer (R). Credit: Getty Images

Hence, the second Test becomes as crucial as it gets for the Indian team. And things would be far from easy from them as not only they are depleted but also Australia has their tails up and looking to pile further misery. Their regular captain Virat Kohli will skip the three Tests along with Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out of the series with an injured forearm. Thus, it would be interesting to whether India can replicate what they did two years ago.

Why is the 26th of December referred to as the Boxing Day?:

India, Australia
MCG will host the traditional Boxing Day Test [Photo-Getty]
Interestingly, Boxing Day has nothing to do with Boxing and there are various theories as to why the 26th of December is called the Boxing Day. The name has its roots from history and tradition. According to one explanation, Boxing Day is a reference to Holiday Gifts. In Britain, ‘Christmas Box’ refers to Christmas present. Boxing Day was initially a holiday for the servants where they receive gifts from their superiors and then go home to give the ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.

Another theory states that the Boxing Day refers to an occasion where the box containing money and gifts for the poor on Christmas was opened the following day. It also has religious connections and is celebrated as St.Stephen’s day in Ireland and the Catalonia region of Spain. Today, in top-notch cricketing nations like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Boxing Day is a monumental occasion. Millions of fans rush to the stadiums and turn on their TV sets to enjoy an entertaining and thrilling time of Test cricket, one day after Christmas.

The 26th December of 2020 will witness three Boxing Day Test matches taking place in three different parts of the world. Aside from Australia hosting India in Melbourne, South Africa will lock horns against Sri Lanka at the Centurion and New Zealand playing Pakistan in Mount Manganui. Last year at the Boxing Day, Australia hosted New Zealand in Melbourne and South Africa and England battled against one another.

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