The Australians are confident they can make it third time lucky on the final day at the SCG as they pursue an unlikely win in the third Test over South Africa.

Australia enters day five needing 14 wickets to claim a 3-0 series sweep after days of rain delays, with South Africa 6-149 in their first innings.

The hosts will look to bowl South Africa out for less than 276, enforce the follow-on and have them all out again in the extended 98-over day to claim the victory.

Chasing a result on day five in Sydney is nothing new for Australia.

Last year, they went in pursuit of 10 English wickets on the last day for victory, but fell one short as James Anderson and Stuart Broad batted out the last two overs for a draw.

Australia also needed eight Indian wickets to win in Sydney on the final day in 2021, but managed only three.

This season, the scenario is far more difficult given the amount of time lost in the match and 14 wickets still required.

But pace bowler Josh Hazlewood said there was more assistance in the wicket this summer, with signs of deterioration, despite less time played on it.

“If we were going out needing seven, eight or nine wickets, we would be very confident,” Hazlewood said.

“The wicket against India was totally different. It had long grass all through it, and that here keeps it together so much.

“[This] wicket after a bit of traffic down, it looked quite nice with Gazza [Nathan Lyon] bowling into that rough.”

Also in Australia’s favour is the fact South Africa has not survived 70 overs in an innings this series.

Hazlewood was also confident Australia had made the right call to go with two spinners and two seamers for the Test, despite he and fellow quick Pat Cummins looking more threatening on day four.

With Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc both out injured, Hazlewood and Cummins could be asked to get through a higher workload on day five with no other seamers in the team.

But with no Test until next month’s tour of India, Hazlewood reckoned their bodies could be pushed.

“There are enough quicks now to probably have that mindset going into any game,” he said.

“You’re there in that 11 to win that Test match, and do whatever it takes to win it. And then you see how everyone has pulled up after it regardless.

“But it’s in the back of your mind a bit, we have three weeks off and you can sort of burn yourself on Sunday if the pace is playing more of a part than spin.”