'Ponting, Hussey hold key for Aussies hopes'

Published: Friday, January 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Perth: Australia coach Tim Nielsen believes his team can pull off the second biggest run chase in Test history and keep their winning streak intact despite India's powerful position in the Third Test at the WACA Ground.

Australia will enter day four precariously placed at 43/2, chasing 413 runs for victory with captain Ricky Ponting (24 not out) and Michael Hussey (five not out) at the crease.

Should Australia triumph, it would be the second biggest fourth innings total to win a Test match, behind only the West Indies' 7-418 against Australia at Antigua in 2003.

"Ricky and Mike will be vital in that regard to set it up for us," Nielsen said.

"The good thing is the wicket's still in pretty good shape, the outfield's fast and we've seen that if batsmen get in they find it easier to score."

"We need a couple of guys to get big hundreds tomorrow and really set the platform for the group."

"We knocked a few runs off the total tonight and that showed that if you get in it's still a pretty good wicket. There's still a positive mood around the rooms tonight. It's at the stage of the game where everyone knows what needs to be done."

"In the back of their minds, they think this will be a pretty special thing to do if they can chase it."

"One way or another if we play well enough we'll give ourselves the chance to chase down a really big total and get the record we're looking for."

"It's an achievable result for us. We feel as though we've got the quality of batsmen and pretty good conditions on our side."

Nielsen rued Australia's first innings capitulation, where the home side slumped to 5-61 before recovering to make 212.

"We're probably seeing the results of an under-par performance in the first innings with our batting," he said.

"We were very pleased to bowl them out for 330 but to only make 212 put the pressure right back on us ... we're a long way behind so it's going to be a big effort for us tomorrow morning to make sure we set a good platform."


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