Day 1: Australia 348/2 at close on SCG Test
Sydney: Opener David Warner continued to torment a hapless India by slamming a fluent century as Australia reached a resounding 348 for two on the opening day to take early control of the fourth and final cricket Test here today.
Electing to bat on a hot and sunny day, the hosts rode on a 200-run opening stand between Warner (101), registering his third ton in the series, and Rogers (95) to once again expose a toothless Indian attack.
After a strong opening show, Shane Watson (61 batting) and captain Steven Smith (82 batting) ensured that Australia stay on the saddle by stitching a 144-run unbeaten third wicket partnership on what turned out to be a frustrating day for the Indians at the SCG.
Playing their first game at the SCG after the passing away of teammate Phillip Hughes six weeks back, an emotionally charged Australia reacted by scoring runs at a fast clip to demoralise the opposition attack.
Rogers though got an early reprieve after Lokesh Rahul dropped the left-handed batsman at second slip off Mohammed Shami (1-58). The opener was on 19 and made full use of the ‘life’.
Warner, who was one of the players to witness the freak accident on November 25 at this venue, was in control from the very start and slammed his 12th Test century after lunch.
Rogers, who always played match-up with his aggresssive partner at the other end, also batted with assurance only to be denied his century. He scored his fifth fifty of the series.
India though struck back after the first session by sending back the openers in quick succession but Smith and Watson had other ideas.
Smith notched up his 10th Test half-century while Watson recorded his 24th fifty in the longest format to deny India any more celebration in the day.
Ravichandran Ashwin (1-88) got Warner back in the pavilion after inducing a leading edge to gully where Murali Vijay made no mistake.
Shami finally got a wicket after Rogers followed his partner in the over after, inside edging a lenght ball on to his stumps.
From then on it was a case of leather hunt for the Virat Kohli-led side, which stayed on the field for 43 overs without a wicket.
India though got another chance of getting a wicket but Ashwin let Watson’s edge fly past him at first slip off Umesh Yadav (0-97) on the penultimate ball of the day.
Australia: 348/2 in 90 overs (David Warner 101, Chris Rogers 95; Ravichandran Ashwin 1-88, Mohammed Shami 1-58).
Australia 1st innings
Extras: (lb 3,w 5) 8
Total: (for no two in 90 overs) 348
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 20-2-67-0, Umesh Yadav 16-1-97-0, Mohammed Shami 16-2-58-1, Ravichandran Ashwin 28-5-88-1, Suresh Raina 10-2-35-0.