The Ashes 2013/14: an alternative guide to the MCG ahead of the fourth Test
Australia routed and Dean Headley 'on fire': the Ashes Panel shares its MCG anecdotes.
Last Updated: 24/12/13 4:01pm
But that doesn't mean the MCG holds only bad memories. Ahead of the fourth Test, coverage of which begins on Christmas Day, we caught up with a batch of our commentators and asked them to share some of their reflections of playing at the ground.
Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and David 'Bumble' Lloyd put their festivities on hold to recollect some of the better times...
BUMBLE: It wasn't the Boxing Day Test back then but when coming to Melbourne I always look back at the sixth Test of the 1974/1975 series with mixed emotions. Jeff Thomson didn't play and Dennis Lillee broke down so Australia were left with Max Walker to do the bulk of the bowling. Mike Denness and Keith Fletcher both got a 100 each which I was delighted about, but sadly, I wasn't playing!
ATHERS: My abiding memory is the opening day of the Boxing Day Test of 2010/11 - and the transformation we saw in the crowd! There were about 90,000 fans in at the start of the day but only about 20,000 at the end on what can only be described as a shocking day for Australia after they were bowled out for 98 in just 42.5 overs. England finished the day well in control on 157-0 with Strauss and Cook grinding Australia into the dirt. All of the locals left disgruntled.
NASSER: Dean Headley is a good friend of mine and I'll never forget the bowling spell he produced in the second innings on the 1998/99 tour. It was the big moment of his career without question. Australia ended up chasing only 175 - but Darren Gough and Headley, in particular, bowled brilliantly. He was a fantastic bowler, particularly against left-handers, when he was fit and he had a massive heart. Dean finished with 6-60 that day as Australia collapsed from 103-2 to 165 all out after Mark Ramprakash took a fantastic one-handed, diving catch to send back Justin Langer. It was one of those victories that just stays with you.
BENEDICT BERMANGE'S KEY FACTS
- England's record at the MCG - P54, W20, L27, D7
- The first-ever Test Match was staged at the venue in March 1877
- The ground was the main stadium used for the 1956 Summer Olympic Games
- Bob Cowper's innings of 307 against England in 1965 contained a Test-record 26 threes!
Dennis Lillee is the leading wicket-taker at the ground with 82 Test scalps; Sir Donald Bradman leads the run-scorers with 1,671
Watch day one of the fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England from 10.30pm on Sky Sports 2 on Christmas Day.