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David Warner scored a century and shared a 200-run opening stand with Chris Rogers to give Australia the upper hand over India at tea Tuesday on the first day of the fourth Test.
India’s bowlers struggled to contain Warner (101) and Rogers as the pair dominated the opening two sessions to lift Australia to 242-2 at tea, after captain Steve Smith won the toss and chose to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Spinner Ravi Ashwin ended the marathon opening partnership at 200, when he found the leading edge of Warner’s bat and Murali Vijay took the catch at gully.
Rogers was bowled next over by Mohammad Shami for 95 his fifth consecutive half-century trying to flick a delivery to the leg side.
At tea, Shane Watson was 10 not out, with Smith unbeaten on 28.
Warner was in imperious form and reached his hundred off 108 balls with a pull shot off Shami for his 16th boundary of the innings. The diminutive opener leaped in celebration of his 12th Test century and third of the series, to the delight of his Sydney home crowd.
Earlier, on reaching his 63, Warner removed his helmet and kissed the ground near the spot where former Test batsman Phillip Hughes was fatally injured, when on 63 not out, during a domestic match at the SCG in November. Warner was playing for New South Wales that day and immediately tried to render assistance when his close friend collapsed to the ground.
Rogers was given a reprieve on 19 by Rahul, who dropped an easy chance at second slip off Shami, giving Virat Kohli a harsh introduction as India’s new Test captain.
Rogers survived again on 90 when he top edged an Ashwin delivery on to his helmet but the chance was dropped by Suresh Raina running backward from slip.
India made four changes to its starting XI- Wriddhiman Saha replaced retired former Test captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while batsmen Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma came in for Shikar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Paceman Kumar Bhuvneshwar was selected ahead of Ishant Sharma.
Australia replaced the injured Mitchell Johnson with another left-arm seamer in Mitchell Starc.
Prior to the start of play, a short video tribute was played on big screens around the SCG followed by an on-field oration to celebrate the short career of the 25 year-old Hughes.
Australia has an unassailable 2-0 series lead, and regained the Border-Gavaskar trophy, with two wins and a draw in the first three Tests.
Chris Rogers b Shami 95
David Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 101
Shane Watson not out 10
Steve Smith not out 28
Extras– (3lb, 5w) 8
TOTAL– (for two wickets) 242
Overs– 60. Batting time- 238 minutes.
Fall of wickets– 1—200, 2—204.
Still to bat- Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris, Nathyan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Bowling– Kumar Bhuvneshwar 14—1—51—0, Umesh Yadav 12—1—70—0 (5w), Mohammad Shami 11—1—49—1, Ravi Ashwin 19—4—55—1, Suresh Raina 4—1—14—0 .
Series– Australia leads 2—0.
Umpires– Kumar Dharmasena, Sri Lanka, and Richard Kettleborough, England.
TV Umpire– Simon Fry, Australia. Match Referee- Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.
From : The Hindu