MCG Test, Australia v India – Day One: By The Numbers

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed a report in a ‘by the numbers’ format, which, for me at least, is a different look at the day’s play as opposed to the stock standard match report. For those that don’t know, each number which may appear more than once has something to do with my Boxing Day experience, and as you’ll see is in rather random order. Some are rather obvious, others may be what some may class useless information which in the end is not that much different to what some so called journalists provide anyway. So without trying to labour the point, I present to you Boxing Day 2014 By the Numbers.

3: Boxing Day tests happening around the Southern Hemisphere, although the contests in Christchurch (New Zealand vs Sri Lanka) and Port Elizabeth (South Africa vs West Indies) are pale imitations. There truly is only one Boxing Day test…although I’ll probably watch some of the Port Elizabeth match for a nightcap – better than that 20 over garbage (maybe the Windies can provide a contest).

0: Lawnmowers required to repair the MCG pitch, unlike the 1 [one] that was needed in Christchurch.

3: The number of Boxing Day tests I have seen at least one day of at the ground where India has been the opponent. I’ve only been alive for 6 [six] Boxing Day Tests vs. India.

2: Number of Boxing Day Tests that I have seen where India is the opposition. I went to day three in 2004, just after Virender Sehwag’s 195 blitzkrieg on day one.

5: Consecutive Boxing Days I have attended. I last missed a Boxing Day in 2009 (South Africa’s last away Boxing Day, given they cracked it bigger than Kevin Pietersen ever did/will)

11: Boxing Day Test matches where I have seen at least 1 [one] day LIVE at the ground, spanning from 1992 (West Indies) to this year.

34: Number of Boxing Days Bill Lawry has seen as a Test match commentator for Channel 9. Since 1980 (vs. New Zealand), there have been 34 MCG Tests that have incorporated Boxing Day. In that span, out of the 39 all told (there was no 1989 Boxing Day test – that was played in January 1990 vs. Pakistan) there have been 3 [three] others starting on Christmas Eve with the most recent being the Ashes battle in 1994, and in 1984, the Test against  West Indies started 2 [two] days before Christmas.

1986: The last year where India have entered a Boxing Day test without the services of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

2: Boxing Day tests for India where Mahendra Singh Dhoni has captained the side. He is the first to repeat as skipper (the others being: Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly)

2: Number of days play I intend to see live at the ground. Originally the plan was to fly to either Sydney or Brisbane on the Sunday, but I’m flying straight back to Central Queensland on the Monday Morning given the expenses involved.

40: Dollars that were exchanged for my seat on Day 1 [one] , EXCLUDING the soon to be abolished surcharge on being able to print your ticket at home.

10: Train stations between Bell (closest to my digs for the weekend) and Jolimont. I’m interested to know which station is closer to the entrances to the ‘G: Jolimont or Richmond? [depends which gate you have to use for entry – Ed]

10: Australian Test Match players who have made their debut in Boxing Day tests (Craig McDermott, Steve Waugh, Tony Dodemaide, Matthew Nicholson, Brett Lee, Martin Love, Phil Jaques, Ed Cowan, Jackson Bird and now Joe Burns)

32: Number of unsuccessful Mexican Wave attempts. Success is measured by the wave completing a full lap of the ground, complete with Members Reserve boo.

4: Laps completed from the most successful Mexican Wave, only 3 [three] were successful all day (one in each session); the last of which was in the reverse direction to normal.

10:58: Time of first beach ball confiscation. There were too many beach balls to mention, but there were 3 [three] contraceptive items, 1 [one] boxing kangaroo and a handful of balloons released.

5: Games of MILO cricket started in the lunch break. Thankfully the mega match no longer is used, replaced by a couple of skill drill type activities.

2: Overs behind the suggested rate after the first session’s play, which was zero by the end of play. That said, may I suggest a new rule where if a team is behind in the over rates after one hour that a team can only bowl spinners until the rate is three overs AHEAD of the rate? Most scoreboards put up the over rate, and punters with half a brain can count to 15 each hour (overs, not beers).

1: Sharma’s in the Indian team, down from a team high three in Adelaide. After going wicket less today, Ishant may well be dropped for Sydney.

3: Marsh’s with Baggy Greens currently in Melbourne, one is playing, one is doing the proud father routine, the other is still recovering from a massive lunch if Twitter is to be believed. Reportedly Mitch Marsh had 3 [three] entrees, 2 [two] main courses and goodness knows how many desserts.

6: Bays in the Great Southern Stand taken up by the “Swami Army”: substantially less intoxicated but no less louder than their English cousins who took up residence last year. Check out my Instagram (MHJeffrey027) for a pic of the army about to enter the stadium.

408/63: Given the events of this summer we’re in its compulsory to incorporate these numbers into any By the Numbers article.

69,993: Announced crowd slightly lower than the 2011 figure. If the weather wasn’t so cold and/or Sachin was still playing I’d think another 5000 would have boosted the numbers.

1,107: Possible maximum fine payable for over indulging in alcohol and behaving in a manner resulting in eviction. Many in the old Bay 13 could have faced this in the last session, though this is almost par for the course on Boxing Day.

8,856: The fine for invading the ground, possibly up from last year.

60: Minutes in tomorrow’s first session of play that may well determine the outcome of the match. A big call given that it’s only the start of day 2 [two] but the difference between 300 and 400 at the MCG is more than just 100 runs.

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.


  1. Good read Mick, but there’s one stat you missed – the number of no-balls Ishant Sharma bowled that weren’t called by the umpire. If it wasn’t one an over it was two, sometimes three.

    He bowled 21 overs. Let’s say 1.5 – on average – of his deliveries were illegal, thats another 31.5 deliveries he should have been forced to bowl again until he got it right. (Make that 30.5 – he was called on one of them)

    That’s another five overs the Australians would have had to score off. (We’ll let him off the half a no ball) At 2.85 runs per over that’s another 14 runs.

    That’s another 44 runs to the Australian total. Five down for 303 reads a lot better than 5/259, and a lot more intimidating.

  2. John Butler says

    Nice work Mick.

    Though McCullum’s effort in Christchurch was no pale imitation. Very much in the tradition of Sehwag.

  3. Mick Jeffrey says

    Fact of the matter though is that those were not called, and won’t get called unless someone gets out (which didn’t look like happening).

  4. OK Mick, I’ll go along with that. Just to make sure I’ve got this right – every ball’s legal unless it takes a wicket, then it’s a no ball if it doesn’t comply? I’m easy. Just got to get it cleared by the ECB and the BCCI. not necessarily in that order.

Leave a Comment