SYDNEY — David Warner and Chris Rogers gave Australia a flying start against India, guiding the hosts to 123-0 at lunch Tuesday on the first day of the fourth cricket test.
India's bowlers were wayward in the morning session, frequently allowing Rogers (52 not out) and Warner to score at nearly five runs an over, after Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Warner, unbeaten on 63, found his characteristic aggression to dominate the Indian attack, including three consecutive boundaries off one Umesh Yadav over.
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 state that day against his former test and provincial teammate Hughes, who was playing for South Australia.
Earlier, Rogers was given a reprieve on 19 by Rahul, who dropped an easy chance at second slip off Mohammad Shami, giving Virat Kohli a harsh introduction as new Indian test captain.
Rogers hit the next ball off Shami for four to bring up the 50 partnership off 48 balls in 37 minutes.
Only spinner Ravi Ashwin threatened the opening pair, particularly troubling Rogers with his off-stump line, but the Australian veteran found a way to survive and reach his fifth consecutive half-century.
India made four changes to its starting XI for the Sydney test with Wriddhiman Saha replacing retired former test captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while batsmen Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma come in for Shikar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Paceman Kumar Bhuvneshwar was selected ahead of Ishant Sharma.
Australia replaced the injured Mitchell Johnson with fellow left-arm seamer 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.