The Australian cricketers are 150 for three in response to Sri Lanka's first innings of 156 after day one of the second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australian captain Michael Clarke got the green light to play and is on the verge of creating a personal milestone and a Sri Lankan millstone on day two of the Boxing Day test.
Clarke needs just 36 more runs to surpass former skipper Ricky Ponting's record for most runs by an Australian in a calendar year.
Clarke will resume at the MCG unbeaten on 20, and the 31-year-old could make Sri Lanka pay heavily for dropping him on five and give Australia complete control as they try to wrap up the three-Test series, having won the opener in Hobart last week.
Sri Lanka gifted both Clarke and Shane Watson, who also resumes on 13, second chances after both were dropped late on day one.