1st, 2nd, 3rd Test match on Boxing Day, 26 Dec 2014

Boxing Day, a holiday celebrated on 26 December of every year, the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive “Christmas box” gift, from their bosses or employers, in the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway and Sweden.

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In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994.

In New Zealand Boxing Day is a statutory holiday; penalty rates and lieu time are provided to employees who work on the day.

Boxing Day is trendy in Australia as the first day of a Test cricket match held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. A Test match is also often held in South Africa starting on Boxing Day.

This year 2014, there are three test matches are being played on boxing day. 3rd Test between Australia vs India that will be played Melbourne Cricket Ground.  In series Australia have so far been either slightly fortunate or exceptionally resourceful, and India either lacking in luck or deficient in perseverance. What this divergence of opinion says is that the current margin of 2-0 obscures greater complexities in the two sides and where they currently sit.

2nd Test on Boxing day will be played between South Africa and West Indies at  St George’s Park Port Elizabeth. After an innings and 220-run victory in Centurion, few will argue with Hashim Amla’s assessment that it is “difficult to fault anything in the last performance.” There may be individuals in the South African XI, such as the top three batsman and the recalled Imran Tahir, who will want to make statements which speak to their own ability, but as a collective unit, South Africa will only want more of the same to close out the series against West Indies before they get to 2015.

Denesh Ramdin’s pleas for a better all-round showing from his team reveals exactly the opposite. He asked for “consistency” in all departments, which means the bowlers need to be tighter and batsman show better temperament.

1st Test match on boxing day will be played between New Zealand vs Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval, Christchurch. Things that are less green than this Hagley Oval surface in the approach to the Test: Kermit the frog, the Kyoto protocol, Sri Lanka’s seam attack. It’s not that New Zealand don’t rate Sri Lanka in seaming conditions. At least, they have not outwardly said they don’t. They just rate themselves more. With an outswing bowler in Tim Southee, and inswinging left-armer in Trent Boult, a hit-the-deck seamer in Doug Bracewell, and a tearaway in Neil Wagner, New Zealand possess a fast-bowling full house. Of course they rate themselves.