Innings defeat lurks India at Sydney

Sydney: A hapless India appeared headed for their sixth consecutive overseas Test defeat as Australia rode on skipper Michael Clarke`s monumental unbeaten 329 and Michael Hussey`s 150 to tighten the noose around the visitors in the second cricket Test here today.

With a mammoth first innings total of 659 for 4 declared, Australia had India on the mat at 114 for two on the third day which saw Clarke putting team ahead of personal milestone. He looked good quite good to surpass left-hander Brian Lara`s record individual score of 400 but chose to declare the innings unbeaten at 329 after Hussey completed his 150 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

He also chose not to go ahead of the legendary Don Bradman`s score of 334 like another former Australian captain Mark Taylor, who had remained unbeaten at 334.
Clarke`s scintillating knock left India with the daunting task of batting out two full days, which raises the possibility of an innings defeat for them in the match. They had lost the first Test in Melbourne by 122 runs.

Opener Virender Sehwag (4) and an uncertain Rahul Dravid (29) were cooling their heels in the pavilion, leaving Gautam Gambhir (68) and Sachin Tendulkar (8) to fight.
The visitors batted for 41 overs and nearly half the day after slogging it out on the field. Gambhir has so far batted for three hours and struck nine fours off 124 balls. Tendulkar`s grim 8 was made in over an hour`s batting and he faced 42 balls.

Earlier, Australia continued their firm grip on the match by stretching their overnight score of 482 for 4 to 659 an hour after lunch without losing a single wicket. Michael Hussey, overnight 55, remained unbeaten on 150 but the glory of the day belonged to Clarke who was left unconquered on 329, the highest score ever made at the SCG, which is hosting its 100th Test.