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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 December, 2003, 09:51 GMT
Hayden hopes for big lead
Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden set an aggressive tone for Australia's innings
Matthew Hayden believes Australia have a "launching pad" to win the third Test against India after dominating the second day's play in Melbourne.

Centuries by Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting enabled them to reach 317-3 at the close and they are looking to build a big first innings lead.

"We needed a really big partnership at the start of our innings to get back into the hunt in this game.

"I think we've well and truly done that now," said Hayden, who made 136.

"We're looking forward to the position where we can get a couple hundred lead perhaps."

India were bowled out for 366 in their first innings, a disappointing outcome after they reached 311-3 at one stage on the opening day.

"We're here to win this Test match and we've shown some really good character in the last four sessions.

"Suddenly that cat we stepped on in the first three sessions seems to have scurried away," added Hayden, whose century was his fifth of 2003 and took his total to the year to 1,259 runs.

Rahul Dravid
We had a great platform and we couldn't build on it
India's Rahul Dravid

Ponting ended the day on 120 not out and he described the day as "very satisfying" for Australia.

He said: "We identified the first session (today) as being one of the biggest in the series for us. Things could have gone two ways - we made it go our way with the ball and batted well in the afternoon.

"We got on a roll and the momentum stayed in our favour for the whole day. It's important we continue and give us a good chance of winning the game."

India were handicapped by a recurrence of a hamstring injury which affected paceman Zaheer Khan, who conceded 75 from his 17 overs.

"He did everything required of him before the start of the game, so he was declared fit.

"In the course of his fourth or fifth over he did feel a bit of a twinge, but he showed a bit of character to stay on and keep bowling," said vice-captain Rahul Dravid.

"It was a tough day, but we've shown a bit of spirit and will continue to fight.

"We didn't get as many runs as we would have liked to and then they batted well."





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Australia's Matthew Hayden
"I just played straight and looked to expand my game after lunch"



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