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Australia and Pakistan aim to make Boxing Day contest memorable

Steve Smith of Australia
Steve Smith of Australia celebrates scoring a century during day one of the First Test match between Australia and Pakistan. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Australia and Pakistan created a perfect overture for the Boxing Day Test which is set to commence at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from tomorrow. Thanks to Pakistan’s daring approach of trying to mow down a huge target before falling short of it closely.

But, this might just be the beginning to the exciting days of cricket which awaits for the cricket fans. After both the teams produced a thrilling contest at the Gabba, both captains spoke about the mood in the camp and what it means to them to be taking part in the match which starts on the historic date.

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Steven Smith, the Australia skipper, looked relaxed at the press conference on Sunday (December 25) and was happy to spend Christmas with his team and family. “You know it’s great to be able to spend Christmas together with the cricket family, and all other families that come down and spend it with us,” he said. “You know it is fantastic and great to see the kids here this morning.”

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was quick to identify the significance of the Boxing day contest and sounded confident to make it a memorable one for the team and the fans.

“Boxing Day is an important Test match and people follow that Test match with a lot of interest, public interest especially here in Australia,” he said. “People will come in huge numbers, and a lot of Pakistani fans, especially after the last performance, are keen to come and support the team. So looking forward for a good Test match, and an important one, especially you could say in Melbourne, is always a special venue.

“You can see everybody is spending a lot of time in the nets, working on the basics and don’t want to leave anything behind before we head into the second Test match. That’s a good sign, we are confident, but at the same time, we are focused and determined. So, overall, I think I am comfortable with the position we are in at the moment, as individuals and as a team.”

Smith was recently under a lot of fire due to the home series loss to South Africa but the captain says that it was learning curve and that he was now happy his side was back on the winning track.

“People around are open to criticise me or what they like, in the end we won the test match, so you know, we are happy with that,” said the 27-year-old. “You can always learn from different things, and look back and reflect and see if you could have done anything different, and those kinds of things. So you know I am really happy that we won the Test match, five wins in a row for Australia, so we are heading in the right direction.”

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