The MCG: Melbourne Cricket Ground capacity for 3rd Ashes Test, weather and Australia v England record

England and Australia are set to face off in the third Test of the 2021/22 Ashes series in Melbourne.

As things stand, England are 2-0 down in the series, after some shambolic batting from the tourists collapses saw the hosts take control of the series with victories in both Brisbane and Adelaide.

The eagerly anticipated annual Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will begin at around 11:30pm on Christmas Day in the UK.

Here's everything you need to know about the iconic venue:

Background of the MCG:

The 100,000 capacity venue, originally opened in 1853, is an enormous multi-sports events complex that has seen everything from cricket to football played there over the years, as well as concerts from the likes of Elton John and Guns N' Roses.

The ground's first ever Test match saw Australia host England in 1877, with the hosts winning by 45 runs. A second Test was held in the same ground two weeks later, with the visitors this time securing victory.

Bob Cowper, an Australian, holds the record for the highest ever individual score at the ground, after accumulating a whopping 307 runs against England in 1966.

Australia also hold the record for the highest team innings total at the ground, which was set back in 2016, as they racked up 624 runs before declaring in a Test match against Pakistan.

70,000 spectators are expected to attend the upcoming Test.

What is England's record like at the MCG?

In a time span stretching from 1887 to 2017, England have won 20, lost 28 and drawn eight of the 56 Test Matches they've played against Australia at the ground.

When the two sides last faced each other there, back in 2017, an extraordinarily lifeless pitch saw both sides struggle to take wickets, and the match was eventually drawn, with Alistair Cook finishing on 244 not out.

In 2013, the Aussies crushed their opponents with an eight wicket win, as Mitchell Johnson ripped through England's batting line-up, taking 8-88 across two innings.

2010 was a far different affair, which saw England retain the Ashes after beating the hosts by an innings and 157 runs.

What’s the weather forecast looking like for the upcoming Test?

While praying for rain is a common past time for England fans while their side are taking an absolute shellacking Down Under, the fact that Australia can retain the Ashes with just a draw means fair weather is needed for the tourists to have any hope of recapturing the urn.

The first day is looking set to be largely cloudy with highs of 18C, which could favour England's swing bowlers should Australia bat first.

The second day could see a little cloud in the morning, with the sun set to break through fully by the second session. From then on, it's looking like wall to wall sunshine for the remainder of the Test, with temperatures in the mid 20s.

Should the match go down to the final day's play, the fielding team will need to withstand temperatures in excess of 30C.

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