A Boxing Day Test Match is a cherished tradition in cricket, primarily observed in Australia and some other cricketing nations. It takes place annually on the day after Christmas, December 26th, at a prominent cricket ground.
These matches are typically the highlight of the cricketing calendar and are known for their festive atmosphere. Two national teams, often Australia, compete against a visiting team in a five-day Test format.
This tradition began in Melbourne in 1950 and has since become an iconic sporting event. It attracts large crowds of passionate fans and is a significant sporting spectacle, marking the continuation of the holiday season festivities.
Here is a list of 5 of the best Boxing Day matches in the history of cricket. The top bookmakers in India have cricket odds with them.
1) Australia vs England – 1982
The 1982 Boxing Day Test Match between Australia and England at the MCG is etched in cricketing history as a thrilling encounter. England, captained by Bob Willis, faced a formidable Australian team led by Greg Chappell.
The match saw England batting first and posting a respectable total with the help of Christ Tavare (89 off 165) and Allan Lamb (83 off 115). However, the Australian team was fueled by brilliant performances from Kim Hughes, David Hookes, and Rod Marsh.
However, in the final moments, Norman Cowans came out on top and picked up 6 wickets at an economy of 2.96. It was his exceptional performance, that England scored a win over their arch-rivals Australia.
2) New Zealand vs Sri Lanka – 2014
The Boxing Day Test Match of 2014 featured New Zealand and Sri Lanka in a thrilling cricket encounter.
Held at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, it was a significant moment for New Zealand as they hosted their first-ever Boxing Day Test. Brendon McCullum, New Zealand's captain, played a historic innings, scoring 195 runs.
New Zealand declared a formidable total, setting Sri Lanka a challenging target. Sri Lanka put up a valiant fight but ultimately fell short, with New Zealand securing the victory.
This match marked a memorable Boxing Day debut for Christchurch and showcased the growing strength of New Zealand cricket on the international stage.
3) Australia vs India – 2003
The 2003 Boxing Day Test Match was the day when some of the best batting moments were made from both sides.
Australia, led by Steve Waugh, and India, captained by Sourav Ganguly, showcased their cricketing prowess. Virender Sehwag's 195, Ricky Ponting’s 257 and Rahul Dravid’s 92 were the highlights of the fixture.
This match remains emblematic of the fierce rivalry between these cricketing giants, reflecting the intensity and drama that makes Test cricket so captivating. It's a memorable chapter in the history of the Boxing Day Test.
4) South Africa vs India – 1996
The 1996 Boxing Day Test between South Africa and India at Kingsmead, Durban, stands out as a captivating cricketing showdown.
India, under captain Sachin Tendulkar, faced a formidable South African team led by Hansie Cronje. The match witnessed Venkatesh Parasad's heroic performance with the ball, securing a 5-wicket haul for India.
However, Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock’s remarkable bowling display for South Africa ensured a win for the hosts. This match highlighted the competitive spirit of both teams and showcased the tenacity of Test cricket.
It remains a memorable chapter in the cricketing history of Boxing Day Tests, leaving fans with indelible memories of that gripping encounter.
5) Australia vs India – 2018
The 2018 Boxing Day Test Match between Australia and India at the MCG was a defining moment in cricket history.
India, under Virat Kohli's captaincy, took on the Australian team in a highly anticipated clash. Cheteshwar Pujara's remarkable century and Jasprit Bumrah's devastating bowling performance were standout moments.
India secured a historic win, their first-ever Boxing Day Test win on Australian soil.