Christmas at MCG as England, Australia sweat it out for Boxing Day Test
England and Australian players were seen at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Christmas, practicing on the eve of the Boxing Day Test. Australia have already reclaimed the Ashes 3-0 and will hope to pile on further misery on the visitors.
Whatever it takes!... England batting coach Graham Gooch was seen talking to the groundsman at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), gathering as much information to help his misfiring batsmen. (All images AFP)
Stuart Broad's Christmas wishlist could include a fifer or two in the upcoming Test. He was seen steaming in during the practice session on the eve of the game.
It was early Christmas for Durham's Scott Brothwick, who was drafted into the England squad after Graeme Swann's sudden retirement.
In the absence of Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar will move up the pecking order and look to finish 2013 on a high.
England players also did some fielding drills. They will be eager not to let any chance of revival get away from their hands in the next two games.
England's 'Golden boy' Kevin Pietersen chats with his skipper and Birthday boy Alastair Cook during the nets session. If there is anybody who can lead England's revival charge, it is them.
England's Matt Prior, Stuart Broad and James Anderson take a break during their practice session. The team, however, cannot afford to relax one bit when action resumes on Boxing Day.
Mood in the Australian camp was equally intense, despite their 3-0 lead in the series. All-rounder Shane Watson was all ears to coach Darren Lehmann, who has been credited for orchestrating Australia's massive turn around since losing in England a couple of months ago.
Shane Watson also spent some quality time in the nets to work on his batting. He will want to resume his love affair with the MCG, where he has scored three fifties and one century in three Tests.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke looked on as a young fan reached out for the ball during an indoor practice session.