Record-breaker Clarke focused on beating India

Australia captain Michael Clarke's unbeaten knock of 329 was the 12th highest in Test cricket history.

Story highlights

  • Michael Clarke hits an unbeaten 329 for Australia on day three of second Test
  • The hosts lead India by 354 runs, with the tourists 114-2 in their second innings
  • Clarke's knock is the highest at the Sydney Cricket Ground, third highest by an Australian
Captain Michael Clarke insisted team success was more important than individual landmarks after his record-breaking 329 not out helped Australia strengthen their grip on the second Test against India on Thursday.
Clarke's career-best knock was the highest in the Sydney Cricket Ground's history, with the hosts eventually declaring on 659 for the loss of four wickets.
He was five runs short of the second-highest total by an Australian, held by Don Bradman and Mark Taylor, and in sight of Brian Lara's world record of 400.
"I'm stoked that I've managed to make 300-odd runs but the most important thing for me is that we win the Test," the 30-year-old told Cricket Australia's official website at the end of day three.
"That was a big part of the reason for my declaration ... I didn't think about it (the records) at all. It was about getting the team to a number, a total.
"I didn't expect to score 300 runs in one innings. All the other records ... well, I'm happy where I sit."
Clarke is the sixth Australian to hit a triple century, with Matthew Hayden's 380 the leading score.
The middle-order batsman was ably assisted by veteran Michael Hussey as the 36-year-old reached 150 not out on a day when Australia lost no wickets.
"Once 'Huss' got 150 we had a 450-run lead, I thought it's a good time to pull up stumps and try to get a couple of wickets tonight," said Clarke.
India reached 114-2 at the start of their second innings, ending the day 354 runs behind Australia's huge total with two days to play.
"There's nothing to lose, in the sense that we're so far behind now," India batsman Rahul Dravid conceded. "Everyone's got to go out and play and not even think about drawing the game or anything like that.
"Just go out there and look to play, just bat as long as you can and who knows. I think the key obviously for us is to keep them on the field for long periods of time."
The tourists lost Virender Sehwag for four runs when he was caught by David Warner off the fast bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus. Dravid, the second highest run scorer in Tests behind teammate Sachin Tendulkar, was also dismissed by Hilfenhaus for 29.
Opener Gautam Gambhir remained at the crease on 68, with Tendulkar on eight as he continued his quest for a 100th century in international cricket.
Australia lead the four-match series 1-0, after victory in the opening Test in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, South Africa took 12 wickets as they continued to dominate on day three of the decisive third Test against Sri Lanka in Cape Town.
Sri Lanka started the day 431 runs behind South Africa, but added just 90 for their last eight first-innings wickets.
Fast-bowling duo Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander ripped into Sri Lanka's batting line-up, with South Africa able to enforce the follow -on after the tourists could only make 239 in response to the hosts 580.
South Africa kept up the pressure at the start of the second innings, with Mark Boucher catching opener Tillakaratne Dilshan off the bowling of Philander to leave Sri Lanka struggling on 12-1.
Sri Lanka then lost Lahiru Thirimanne for 30 and wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara for 34, before first-innings hero Jacques Kallis caught Mahela Jayawardene to hand Morkel the final wicket of the day's play.
Sri Lanka were 138-4 at the close of play, leaving South Africa with a healthy lead of 203 and two days to take the six wickets they need to wrap up a 2-1 series win.