Ashes 2021-22 third Test, day one: Australia v England – live!

Hello everybody and welcome to live over-by-over coverage of the Boxing Day Ashes Test. We’re underway at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at 10.30am local time (11.30pm UK).

I hope you’re all well-fed, well-rested, and ready for one of the landmark days on the sporting calendar. As Cliff Richard sang, it’s a time for giving (your wicket away reverse-sweeping to point during a blockathon) a time for getting (dropped), a time for forgiving (Jos Buttler) and a time for forgetting (Joe Root winning the toss in Brisbane). Now let’s rejoice in the good that we see.

That good includes the selection of Scott Boland, only the second Indigenous Australian man to be awarded a baggy green, as well as the prospect of 70,000 or so fans inside the MCG, providing one of sport’s most incredible audiences. There’s England’s final chance to right some wrongs in the battle to regain the Ashes. Pat Cummins is back. So is Jonny Bairstow. And Zak Crawley. So put the wrapping paper in the recycling, lay out your selection box on the table, and settle in for one of the best days (or nights) of sport of the year.

I’ll be back with more shortly, but if you would like to join in, you can reach me by email or Twitter (@JPHowcroft).

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Merry Christmas from the MCG nets.

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