Captain Michael Clarke batted through day two to score an unbeaten 251 as Australia took complete control of the second Test against India in Sydney.
The hosts began the day on 116-3 and only lost one wicket all day as Clarke added 288 with Ricky Ponting (134).
Dropped by Ishant Sharma on 182, the skipper reached the highest Sydney Cricket Ground score by an Australian.
After Ponting fell, Mike Hussey (55 not out) helped Clarke take Australia to 482-4 by the close, a lead of 291.
HIGHEST SCG TEST SCORESContinue reading the main story
- 287 - RE "Tip" Foster, England, December 1903
- 277 - Brian Lara, West Indies, January 1993
- 251* - Michael Clarke, Australia (v India), Jan 2012
- 251 - Wally Hammond, England, December 1928
- 242 - Doug Walters, Australia (v W Iindies), Feb 1969
- 241* - Sachin Tendulkar, India, January 2004
Ponting's place in the side had been increasingly questioned in the lead-up to the series, but he reached his first Test century for 34 innings, having last passed three figures in making 209 against Pakistan in Hobart in January 2010.
He was so nearly run out for 99 after pushing Sharma for a quick single as Zaheer Khan's throw from mid-on narrowly missed the stumps.
Ponting had to dive full-length to make his ground and, his shirt covered in dirt, acknowledged a warm reception for his first Test ton in nearly two years before eventually holing out to Sachin Tendulkar at point.
But it was local New South Wales hero Clarke who will take the biggest plaudits after hitting 31 fours and a six to easily pass his previous highest Test score, 168, on his home ground.
"I don't really know how I'm still out there, but Punter [Ponting] and Huss were outstanding and kept me going," said Clarke.
"It's nice to make my highest Test score at the SCG, but it's important to get as many runs as we can in the first innings - if we can get a 350 lead we'll be in good shape."
The chance he gave to Sharma was a difficult return catch off the right-arm paceman's own bowling, but one that will be rued by India as they already face a difficult task to save the game and avoid Australia taking a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series.