The last time India played a Boxing Day Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was in 2014 on a lifeless track with both teams playing out a dull draw.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli though is hopeful that this year’s Boxing Day track at the MCG will be much more lively than what it was in 2014 as they there is a good coverage of grass on the surface.

Seeing the pitch now, it has much more grass than it had last time,” Kohli told reporters prior to the XI being announced. “I hope that it’s a lively pitch. I hope that it does as much as it did in the first two games because as a side, you know you’re always in for a result that way.

“The surface, what I saw yesterday looked pretty dry underneath. There’s a good coverage of grass which should keep the surface intact. I think it should have enough for the bowlers to be interested on all days of the Test match and hopefully it’s a much more lively wicket than the last time we played here,” he added.

During the third Test in 2014, Australia piled up 530 runs in their first innings courtesy then skipper Steven Smith’s 192, Ryan Harris’ 74 and Chris Rogers 57, Brad Haddin’s 55 and Shane Watson’s 52, followed by 465 by India in their first dig riding on Kohli’s 169, Ajinkya Rahane’s 147 and Murali Vijay’s 68.

In the second innings, Shaun Marsh made 99 before being run-out while Rogers added 69 as Australia declared their innings at 318/9, thus setting a target of 384 runs to win for India. In reply, India found themselves in trouble at 19/3 before Kohli (54) and Rahane (48), arrested the side and India escaped with a draw.