Aus 343 & 351-7 dec Ind 196 & 6-0: Australia eye record winning streak

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The Independent Online

Openers Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid guided India safely through a tricky eight overs before the close to open their second innings as they set about chasing an improbable 499 for victory over Australia on the third day of the first Test in Melbourne on Friday. But Australia remain well on course for a 15th successive victory.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who suffered a rare failure in making three, declared their second innings on 351 for 7 with 40 minutes of play remaining. Brad Hogg was 35 not out, the 36-year-old's highest Test score.

The highest total batting fourth on the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the 417 by England in the Centenary Test in 1977, chasing 463 for victory. Australia are chasing the world record of 16 Test wins in a row, set by Steve Waugh's team from 1999-2001.

Michael Clarke was the host's top scorer on 73 before he was stumped off the bowling Anil Kumble.

Andrew Symonds contributed an aggressive 44 before he fell lbw to Zaheer Khan. Symonds might have been dismissed earlier, having been bowled by Khan, but off a no ball. Symonds and Clarke added an extra run while the Indians celebrated, before the visitors noticed umpire Billy Bowden's outstretched arm.