Australia will have the Adelaide Test in the back of their minds on the final day in Melbourne, where they will begin the morning with a lead of 326 and three wickets in hand. Aggressive declarations are not unknown to the Australians but they will look for further runs on the fifth day, with a draw enough for them to win the series and India having shown solid chasing form in the first Test.
On a deteriorating drop-in pitch at Adelaide Oval, India were set 364 and were bowled out for 315, Virat Kohli's century not quite enough as Nathan Lyon bowled Australia to victory. But the MCG drop-in pitches tend to hold up better and the surface should still be good for batting on day five, which is likely to discourage the Australians from setting India too achievable a target.
"We saw in the Adelaide Test how well they fought there and luckily we got the breakthrough because it could have been a different story," David Warner said of Kohli's wicket in the Adelaide Test. "They would have gone one-nil up. We know what their batting line up is like: Kohli and Rahane put on a great partnership.
"They had their luck but they went on with it and got big scores. That is in the back of our mind. We know the positive brand of cricket they are playing now and we have got to come out with the ball and either dry it up or take those ten wickets ... I think we need a few more runs than what we have got on the board at the moment."
Warner made 40 on the fourth day at the MCG and his 57-run opening stand with Chris Rogers helped the Australians get away to a solid start, although Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin and Umesh Yadav bowled to their plans and made life difficult for the batsmen. Warner said the surface was still playing well for batsmen.
"It's still a very good batting wicket," he said. "There's not much sideways movement with the new ball but when the ball gets older and a bit softer there's a bit of reverse swing and I think that is going to be the key when we take the field, to try to get that ball going a bit, dry up the runs and get ten opportunities.
"That is the way we are going to try and win the game. Obviously the new ball is crucial and we've got to make the most of it. Extra zip with the new ball, I don't think there's going to be sideways movement at all. Depending on the weather there might be a bit of swing but I don't think that is likely."
Ashwin said India would be positive in their approach on the final day and would play for the victory they require to get back into the series with only one match left to play.
"Any score on the final day is going to be tricky," Ashwin said. "It's a Test match and ... it's going to test every single aspect of your game and your attitude. It's going to be hard work, but we're up for it - we're here to win games of cricket. We'll be positive and try and see where we can go."