Burns hails Smith record

Australia lead by 348 going into the fifth day at the SCG after reaching stumps on 251-6 off 40 overs, Burns crashing 66 off just 39 balls after Smith smote 71 off 70 balls.

In so doing the skipper passed Sir Donald Bradman’s 1947-48 record of 715 for most Australian runs in a series against India, finishing the series with 769 runs at an average of 128.16.

The highest successful run-chase record in the fourth innings of a Sydney Test is currently Australia’s 288-2 against South Africa nine years ago.

With Smith as their inspiration, Australia batsman Burns is confident the hosts can go on and wrap up the series 3-0.

“To lead from the front the way he does and also to do it in all sorts of situations, it’s great to watch,” Burns said of his skipper. “There aren’t too many batters in the world better at the moment.

“The wicket spun and I think it will only get harder to bat on as the game goes on,” he said. “We’ll come out tomorrow and I’m sure we’re going to create 10 opportunities. It’s just a case of taking all 10.”

Reflecting on his own innings, which included three sixes and eight fours, he added: “It was lots of fun. It’s a fantastic opportunity to come out tomorrow and win a test match for Australia, so very exciting.???

India had earlier conceded a 97-run lead despite amassing 475 in their first innings but struck early when Ravichandran Ashwin had David Warner caught cheaply at slip.

Although that didn???t stem the flow of Australian runs, spinner Ashwin says India will try to chase down whatever target they are set.

“We definitely leaked a lot more runs than we would like to have, they played a few good shots,” Ashwin said. “It’s still pretty decently poised, although they definitely have an ace up, we’ll have to see how it goes.

“We are here to play positive cricket and win games of cricket. If presented with the chance to try and go for a victory, we will try to go for it as sensibly as possible. We are here to win games of cricket, there’s no two ways about it.

“It all depends on how positively you can bat and the techniques you apply. Definitely it’s going to be a very positive game, we will try and be positive about it.

“There aren???t a lot of devils in the wicket, but we definitely found it a little too hard to score, it’s a new ball wicket. But fortunately or unfortunately, the game is very well poised now, you don’t know which way it’s going to go.”