Melbourne: The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will have a bumper 75,000 crowd on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test to bid farewell to the famous Indian batting trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman, who will be playing their last series on Australian soil.
It could also be the last time the Melbourne crowd would see two Australian greats Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey playing a Test in the 100,000-seat majestic stadium.
Cricket Australia (CA) have sold more than 75,000 tickets for the first day of the four-Test series. Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) visitors passes have also been sold out for the traditional and iconic post-Christmas sporting event.
CA spokesman Peter Young said they were a little concerned about cricket fans leaving bookings to the last minute.
"Melbourne has got the biggest walk-up rate of any ground in the world. If you want to get good seats, then you should book ahead," Young said.
Young said that CA was expecting stronger-than-normal crowds for the remaining days of the Test with more than 45,000 fans expected for the second day at the MCG.
"They are running stronger than we had originally expected," Young said. "As far as Melbourne is concerned, the city seems to be in love with Test cricket."
Weatherman Alex Zadnik's forecast was a chance of thunderstorms on Boxing Day with a forecast maximum of 25 degrees.
"The morning looks quite hot," Zadnik said. "(But there's) quite likely to be a delayed start to play. It's a bit early to be sure. (But) the odds are for a wet start (to the Test)," he said.