Australia bat first on sunny, warm Boxing Day


Toss Australia chose to bat v England
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Steven Smith won his first Test toss since the tour of India in March and chose to bat in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Australia confirmed their XI in the lead-up to the match, with fast bowler Mitchell Starc sitting out due to a bruised heel. Jackson Bird was included for his first Test since Boxing Day last year, and just his ninth overall in a five-year Test career.

England also made one enforced change to their attack. Fast bowler Craig Overton was ruled out due to a fractured rib, and seamer Tom Curran will become England’s 682nd Test player, having been presented with his cap by Bob Willis on the morning of the match.

The Test was due to start in sunny conditions on a good batting surface, and Smith had no hesitation in choosing to bat. “The pressure is obviously off a little bit, having won the Ashes, but at the same time, we want to keep winning, we want to make it a habit,” Smith said.

Australia 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.

England 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson.



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