Aussie team's touching Boxing Day tribute to Dean Jones

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Marnus Labuschagne, as well as the rest of the Australian and Indian cricket teams, donned zinc on their lips to pay tribute to the late Dean Jones for the Boxing Day Test. Pictures: Getty Images
Marnus Labuschagne, as well as the rest of the Australian and Indian cricket teams, donned zinc on their lips to pay tribute to the late Dean Jones for the Boxing Day Test. Pictures: Getty Images

The Australia cricket team have made a fitting tribute to the late Dean Jones before the Boxing Day Test against India.

Tributes flowed for the former Test great after his tragic death in India earlier this year, with his family confirming the cause of the Victorian great’s death was a catastrophic stroke, rather than a heart attack as initially reported at the time.

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Jones’ wife Jane confirmed to The Age newspaper that the beloved cricket great’s death was subject to a coronial investigation.

“It is actually under a coroner’s inquiry at the moment, not that they think there is anything other than what they have found, but just that he was a bit young to have the stroke the way it happened,” she said.

There was a tinge of sadness marking the first Test match to be played in Jones’ home state of Victorian since his passing, but the Aussie side made a fitting tribute affable batsman.

Following a call on social media for fans to honour Jones by zincing up their lips in Jones’ trademark fashion, with the hashtag ‘zincupfordeano’ trending online, the Aussie side did just that.

Every player could be seen sporting the iconic zinc as they lined up for the national anthem before the match started, much to the delight of fans online.

In a touching display of solidarity, the Indian team reciprocated the tribute.

Unfortunately for Australia, who won the toss and elected to bat at the MCG, the first innings of the second Test did not start as well as they’d have hoped.

India run through Aussie top-order at MCG

India have launched a spirited comeback following their Adelaide Oval disaster to leave Australia reeling at 3-65 at lunch on day one of the Boxing Day Test.

Openers Joe Burns and Matthew Wade, as well as star batsman Steve Smith, were all dismissed after Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and batted first.

The MCG pitch has been infamously flat in recent years, but India's bowlers extracted seam and spin from it in a lively first session.

Indian quick Jasprit Bumrah (1-7) cleaned up Burns in the fourth over, before Ravi Ashwin (2-17) claimed Wade and the prized scalp of Smith.

The stage was set for another Smith masterpiece when he entered the crease at 2-35, but the world's No.1 Test-ranked batsman was quickly sent packing.

Smith was caught at leg-slip off a turning Ashwin delivery without scoring - the 31-year-old's first Test duck since 2016.

It was not the only nought of the morning, with Burns' 10-ball stay again putting him under pressure to keep his Test place.

Bumrah had Burns nicking to recalled wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant - the Queenslander now averaging just 24.2 from his last nine Test innings since making 97 against Pakistan in November 2019.

With star opener David Warner expected to be fit for the next Test, Burns, who hit an unbeaten 51 at the Adelaide Oval, needs another big second innings score to save his international career.

Makeshift opener Wade, who was hellbent on attacking, went for one big shot too many and was caught by a diving Ravindra Jadeja off Ashwin's bowling for 30.

No.3 Marnus Labuschagne (26), who successfully challenged an LBW decision in the final over before lunch, and Travis Head (4) are Australia's not out batsmen.

With AAP

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