Australia v India: Michael Clarke hits triple century

Second Test, Sydney (day three):
Australia 659-4 declared v India 191 & 114-2
Match scorecard
Michael Clarke
Captain Clarke acknowledges the crowd after declaring unbeaten on 329

Captain Michael Clarke made the first Test triple century at the Sydney Cricket Ground as Australia continued to dominate the second Test.

He compiled an unbeaten 329, the fourth highest score by an Australian and the 14th highest in history.

Clarke and Mike Hussey, who hit 150 not out, put on an unbroken 334 - a fifth-wicket record against India - before declaring on 659-4.

The tourists, needing 458 to make Australia bat again, closed on 114-2.

Clarke was only five runs short of Mark Taylor's highest score by an Australian Test captain when he declared at the halfway point of the match, the drinks break in the afternoon session on day three.

It was, however, the best score by an Australian Test skipper on home soil, surpassing the legendary Sir Donald Bradman's 270 at Melbourne in 1937.

Clarke reached his triple hundred shortly after lunch, flicking the ball through mid-wicket off the bowling of Ishant Sharma for his 37th boundary.

The 30-year-old's epic innings spanned 617 minutes, 468 balls and included 39 fours and a six.

Hussey, who has been dismissed first ball on three occasions in his last nine innings, completed his third Test score of 150 or more before the innings was brought to a close.

The decision to declare was soon vindicated as cavalier opener Virender Sehwag was superbly caught high above his head at point by David Warner in the fourth over of the India second innings.

Rahul Dravid added 82 in 23 overs with Gautam Gambhir before he departed for 29, bowled through the gate by a delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus that moved back in.

Gambhir, who hit consecutive fours in the opening over and struck nine boundaries in total, was dropped on 66 by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the penultimate over and remained unbeaten on 68 at the close, with record Test runscorer Sachin Tendulkar surviving an inside edge past his stumps to the fine-leg boundary in his eight not out from 42 balls.

Tendulkar, still searching for his 100th international century, is certain to require a significant score to prevent his team slipping 2-0 down in the four-match series.

Asked about declaring only five short of Taylor's score - a mark also achieved by Bradman against England in 1930 - Clarke, playing his 78th Test, said: "I didn't think about it at all. I didn't have their score in my head whatsoever.

"It was about trying to get the team to a total which I thought was a really good for a declaration and then get out there and try to have a crack and take a couple of wickets this afternoon. That's all I was thinking about.

"I spoke to Huss just before we declared and I really wanted him to make 150 - he deserved that. Once he got that, and once we had a 450-run lead, I thought it's a good time to pull up stumps and try and get a couple of wickets tonight."

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