India need just 10 wickets to win Test


SYDNEY: Australia and India are both eyeing a slice of history heading into the last day of the final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground today. 

India require 10 wickets to claim their first ever series win in Australia while the hosts are chasing a world record second innings total of 443 for victory. 

While a draw still seems the most likely result, Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid said the morning session would determine which side was most likely to win. 

"I think the first session tomorrow is going to be very critical," Dravid told a news conference. 

"It's going to be hard work, it's not going to be a case of turning up and doing it. 

Australia were left needing to conjure up a world record-breaking performance to give skipper Steve Waugh a winning send-off. 

Yesterday, India set Australia a mammoth victory target of 443 after skipper Sourav Ganguly called a halt to his team's second innings at 211 for two, denying Rahul Dravid his 16th Test century with four overs left of the day's play. 

The tourists now look odds on to gain at least a draw from the series-decider, with Australia needing to surpass the existing world record run chase of 418 set by the West Indies against them in Antigua last May. 

And another factor mitigating against Australia is that no team has scored more than 276 in the fourth innings to win a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground since Australia's six-wicket victory over England in 1898. 

At stumps on the fourth day, Australia had survived four tense overs to be 10 without loss with Justin Langer on four and Matthew Hayden on one.  

That left the home side with the herculean task of scoring 433 to win off a minimum 90 overs on today's final day. 

“We'll need a big effort, we'll need someone to bowl well, it's still a good wicket but hopefully on the last day it might play a few tricks and if we can get a few wickets then we can put them under pressure,” Dravid said. 

India held a massive 231-run innings lead after dismissing Australia for 474 earlier in the day with Simon Katich scoring a maiden Test century and leg-spinner Anil Kumble bagging eight wickets. 

Ganguly elected not to enforce the follow-on after the Australians were dismissed 32 runs short of the target and instead sought the added security of further second innings runs before a declaration after India posted a record 705 for seven in the first innings. 

The Indians have never won a Test series in seven previous visits to Australia but will retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy with at least a draw on today's final day. 

Adding to the mix is that this is Steve Waugh's 168th and last Test match and Australia are desperate to send out their skipper a winner. – AFP 

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