The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

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The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 12:21 pm

4th Test; Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground; Dates: 26-30 December (23:30 GMT, 25 December)

Expected XIs:

Australia:
Bancroft, Warner, Khawaja, Smith *, S Marsh, M Marsh, Paine †, Bird, Cummins, Lyon, Hazelwood

England:
Cook, Stoneman, Vince, Root *, Malan, Bairstow †, Ali, Woakes, Curran, Broad, Anderson

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 12:22 pm

Put Curran in there but it could well be Crane. Seems it won't be Ball or Wood, anyway. 

Personally, I'd drop Broad too. I would possibly go for Wood over Broad, Curran over Overton and give Ali a last chance.

Belief that Paine is playing. Bird will be interesting for the injured Starc.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 12:52 pm

Would be happy to see England rotate, but must be wary of making changes for the sake of them.

Kerrigan, Borthwick and Rankin, to name a few, were all thrown in at the back end of an Ashes series, only to never resurface again. I hope the same doesn't happen to Curran and/or Crane.

I suppose Melbourne is a happy ground for the English in Australia; they've won twice there in test matches in my lifetime! I can't see a third victory being added this year, though - Australia are simply better in every department.

At least 1998 England had an in-form Darren Gough..

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 3:25 pm

Dolph - thanks for the thread. I'll to join it again during the opening session. In the meantime, a merry Christmas to all.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 3:44 pm

Bird's first class record looks pretty impressive, but he certainly doesn't carry the pace factor that the boys from NSW have. If we can get into a strong position, we could potentially wear down Hazlewood anc Cummins. Don't really see Bird or Mitch Marsh bombing the tail Enders.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by KP_fan on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 6:40 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:Bird's first class record looks pretty impressive, but he certainly doesn't carry the pace factor that the boys from NSW have. If we can get into a strong position, we could potentially wear down Hazlewood anc Cummins. Don't really see Bird or Mitch Marsh bombing the tail Enders.

it's not the express pace but the willingness to bend their back and dig it in......will work even at fast medium on these pitches...
If Bird does that that even at 135kph he can trouble the batters....Josh Hazlewood has been a case in point
Aussie pacers did that and as i expected seeing their approach from T1 .....that Cummin and / or Starc will break down anytime.....
and Starc did break but did his job before that decided the series....

That's what Eng needed to do.......find two bowlers who could bend their back and dig it in......2 to 3 per over
Bowling is about skill, luck and also mindset
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by SimonofSurrey on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 7:51 pm

For those with long, specifically Surrey-centric, memories Tom Curran reminds me of a cross between Robin Jackman and Martin Bicknell. He seems innocuous enough, but like both of them is a clever bowler and has the happy knack of taking wickets. Like the former, he's a game boy and will run in all day. Like the latter, he's capable of the occasional deceptively fast faster ball.

Even if he's picked and bombs he shouldn't be jettisoned for it. He wasn't even in the original squad, so his selection would be of the 'one for the future', 'put it down to experience' kind. Unless he takes twelve wickets in the match. More likely, put it down to experience and don't roast the kid on the back of one unexpected selection towards the back end of a difficult tour.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 12:44 am

England captain @root66 announces that @_TC59 will make his Test debut @MCG.

He replaces the injured @craigoverton12.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 12:56 am

Good luck to the lad - stage doesn’t get much bigger to make your test debut on!
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Pal Joey on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 7:52 am

Yes, it's a big stage to make your debut. I wish him well.

Thanks for setting up the thread, Dolphin.
Merry Christmas to you and everyone else & your families.

It was so hot here on Christmas eve then a cool change hit around midnight.
It went from an unbearable 41 deg. yesterday (I got a sweat just searching through old Christmas records) down to a much more pleasant 21 now.
It wouldn't surprise me if it's wet in Sydney in early January... but then again we could be lucky and have a stretch of a few hot days in a row.

'ows things down south, Alf?

Looks like a fine first day 29 degrees, sunny 35 on Wednesday, then more humid with potential rain on Thursday (33), Friday (25) Saturday (24).

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 9:17 am

So Curran gets a start, but it seems walking wicket and non-threatening bowler Moeen will retain his place.

This test seems like a perfect storm for Australia. Smith has a stupendous record at the MCG, Warner is due a big score and there’ll be 90,000 passionate Australians in attendance.

England don’t look as though they have any weapons to trouble Australia.

8/13 on an Aussie win. Merry Christmas, indeed...

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by LivinginItaly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:31 am

Hopefully we can win the toss and bat big in the first innings. It's about time Cook and Root got some runs. Will be interesting to see how Curran goes, both with the bat and the ball.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:02 am

Reports Moeen has picked up a niggle in training and is an injury doubt now.

Surely if he isn’t fit he can’t play - he’s been injured all tour and you’ve seen the results. Let the guy get healthy
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by KP_fan on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 2:36 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Reports Moeen has picked up a niggle in training and is an injury doubt now.

Surely if he isn’t fit he can’t play - he’s been injured all tour and you’ve seen the results. Let the guy get healthy

Injury of convenience
great opportunity for Eng to pick an addtional seamer in place of Moeen and go flat out with attacking bowling
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by alfie on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 3:57 pm

KP_fan wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Reports Moeen has picked up a niggle in training and is an injury doubt now.

Surely if he isn’t fit he can’t play - he’s been injured all tour and you’ve seen the results. Let the guy get healthy

Injury of convenience
great opportunity for Eng to pick an addtional seamer  in place of Moeen and go flat out with attacking bowling

Oh come on...

What will five seamers do that four can't ? If Moeen is crocked you have no choice but to pick Crane (unless you want to bat Ballance as a extra and use Root and Malan for spin)

LD - the weather here has been very pleasant . Just got home from the extended family gathering which was conducted in cool to mild but dry air through the late evening/early morning. No rain around for now so looks like a good start for Boxing Day...what happens after that is anyone's guess as I'd never rely on a Melbourne forecast three days out...

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 4:30 pm

Not a very convenient injury for Moeen

Boxing Day ashes test match at the MCG likely the biggest stage for an international cricketer
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by JDizzle on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 4:47 pm

You have to pick Ballance if Moeen is out. Going in with Curran at 7 is lunacy. Then if you want to pick a spinner, Crane comes in for Broad I guess - which I can’t see.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:30 pm

ALi fit to play, which is a shame in terms of intrigue.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by KP_fan on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:35 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:ALi fit to play, which is a shame in terms of intrigue.

they played a half fit Ali in the first 3 tests
and won't drop him even when quarter fit

When Eng is not "your side" it can be very amusing to observe such events unfold  Cool
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Pal Joey on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:46 pm

KP_fan wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:ALi fit to play, which is a shame in terms of intrigue.

they played a half fit Ali in the first 3 tests
and won't drop him even when quarter fit

When Eng is not "your side" it can be very amusing to observe such events unfold  Cool

Morning kp_f Wink
Apparently he has been walking around in a sling.
This is too much even for an Aussie. Really don't know what they think they're up to. It's beyond a tragedy now.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:52 pm

The Loaded Dog wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:ALi fit to play, which is a shame in terms of intrigue.

they played a half fit Ali in the first 3 tests
and won't drop him even when quarter fit

When Eng is not "your side" it can be very amusing to observe such events unfold  Cool

Morning kp_f Wink
Apparently he has been walking around in a sling.
This is too much even for an Aussie. Really don't know what they think they're up to. It's beyond a tragedy now.

I could understand England pressing him to play if the series was alive and his presence was as important to the side as Flintoff in '05 or Botham (after he relinquished the captaincy) in '81, but he's a walking wicket and offers little threat with the ball.

Why, England, why?!

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by jimbohammers on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:52 pm

Disappointed in no Crane. May as well give him a chance!

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 10:56 pm

For people interested in the test rankings (I'm sure there's at least one person!), a 5-0 Aussie series win moves Australia up to third and England down to fifth (behind New Zealand).

However, a 3-2 Australia win keeps England in third, with Australia going up to fourth.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Pal Joey on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:00 pm

I'd almost forgotten about the rankings. Well, there you go. Smile

Smith wins the toss and has elected to bat.


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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:01 pm

Well Root's luck at the toss runs out and Australia will bat.

Oh for Melbourne 2010, England's perfect day.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:02 pm

If it’s true Ali has been walking round in a sling, it is utter madness to play and risk him further in a dead rubber. Surely he can’t be fit!
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Pal Joey on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:04 pm

Duty281 wrote:Well Root's luck at the toss runs out and Australia will bat.

Oh for Melbourne 2010, England's perfect day.

I was just thinking of that a little while ago.... what a disastrous day that was!

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:04 pm

Australia winning the toss and batting they will be eyeing up a total of 500+ as the pitch is road-like apparently.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by LivinginItaly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:06 pm

I think Australia will close the first day on about 320-5. We just don't have the bowling attack to contain or rip through a side in these conditions unless we found swing and seam movement.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:09 pm

My crystal ball sees Australia closing on 300 for 3.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Pal Joey on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:15 pm

Just a reminder to anyone in the Ashes tipping comp... please get your 4th Test picks in as soon as you can.
Thanks.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:18 pm

jimbohammers wrote:Disappointed in no Crane. May as well give him a chance!

I agree but you kind of felt (to the selectors) for some bizarre reason Ali is undroppable. Ali's is out of form with the bat, a walking wicket for Lyon and his bowling at present has as much teeth as a centurian with a lifelong sweet addiction.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:18 pm

BT Coverage has lost Ponting and Gilchrist - just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, we get more Damien Fleming.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by jimbohammers on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:21 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
jimbohammers wrote:Disappointed in no Crane. May as well give him a chance!

I agree but you kind of felt (to the selectors) for some bizarre reason Ali is undroppable. Ali's is out of form with the bat, a walking wicket for Lyon and his bowling at present has as much teeth as a centurian with a lifelong sweet addiction.

Very frustrating. Its similar to the football where 'the names' were picked and seem undropable. Injury or not Ali should not be in the team on form...

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:23 pm

Maybe they feel you can’t drop someone for having a poor run, especially when played half-cooked. Which, in fairness to them, is reasonable sports management.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:26 pm

Is it sensible to play a player in hope that he finds form and sit back and watch as his already rock bottom confidence takes a further blow?


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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:28 pm

Alastair Cook has a test bowling average of 7.

Give him the new ball, skipper!

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:29 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:BT Coverage has lost Ponting and Gilchrist - just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, we get more Damien Fleming.

Michael Slater. It’s worse than first feared. Baton down the hatches, it’s going to be rough lads
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:29 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:BT Coverage has lost Ponting and Gilchrist - just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, we get more Damien Fleming.

Michael Slater. It’s worse than first feared. Baton down the hatches, it’s going to be rough lads

Well, at least there's no Ian Botham...

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:31 pm

Fearing the worst for England today. Australia to close on 380/2, with Warner getting a double hundred.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Pal Joey on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:32 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:BT Coverage has lost Ponting and Gilchrist - just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, we get more Damien Fleming.

We've got Bill Lawry and Warne. Punter & Gilly doing BB commentary... there must be some clash with the match tonight.
You'd think they could have scheduled a night off so they could call the Test though.
Fleming gets annoying with some of his "bowlology" comments. How often do we have to hear the "avenue of apprehension" remark?

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:35 pm

A streaky shot through the covers by Warner but Australia 6 for 0 after one over.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:42 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Is it sensible to play a player in hope that he finds form and sit back and watch as his already rock bottom confidence takes a further blow?

By this logic, every out of form player ever would never play again...Erm

Do you propose Moeen finds form by sitting in the sun sipping Lucozade for the next five days?
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 Dec 2017, 11:51 pm

Wow, the ball's flying off the outfield. Not literally, you understand. But it is very quick.

England bowling a touch short. Anderson looks thoroughly fed up.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 12:06 am

Anderson has caught Bancroft twice now, gone a bit shorter and Bancroft seems to have lost the ball twice

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 12:07 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Is it sensible to play a player in hope that he finds form and sit back and watch as his already rock bottom confidence takes a further blow?

By this logic, every out of form player ever would never play again...Erm

Do you propose Moeen finds form by sitting in the sun sipping Lucozade for the next five days?

What do you gain by playing an out-of-form Ali? Nothing if his vein of form continues which looks odds-on.

What do you gain by playing Crane? You get an idea of whether he can cut it at test level and he gains experience.

And I never said anything about never playing Ali again.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by JDizzle on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 12:10 am

Dropping Ali and batting Curran at 7 would be total lunacy.

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by Duty281 on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 12:12 am

Ali should have been dropped for Ballance, not Crane.

Let Root bowl ten overs of off-spin if the situation demands (or even Malan).

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by JDizzle on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 12:14 am

Duty281 wrote:Ali should have been dropped for Ballance, not Crane.

Let Root bowl ten overs of off-spin if the situation demands (or even Malan).

Yep. The only viable move if you were to drop Ali. Although Ballance probably doesn't offer any more with the bat - his filthy leggies might be more effective though!

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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 12:15 am

JDizzle wrote:Dropping Ali and batting Curran at 7 would be total lunacy.

Why?Ali is a walking wicket at present.
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Re: The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

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