Emotional David Warner century leads Australia in Day 1 drubbing of India

Warner and Chris Rogers opened with a 200-run partnership on Tuesday and Australia went to stumps at 348-2, hammering a listless Indian attack on Day 1 of the fourth Test.

David Warner of Australia celebrates on Tuesday during his first-day century in the fourth Test against India in Sydney. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images / January 6, 2015
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David Warner scored an emotional century and shared a 200-run opening stand with Chris Rogers as Australia decimated India's bowling attack Tuesday on the first day of the fourth Test.

Warner smashed 101 following a tribute to late teammate Phillip Hughes, and Rogers compiled an eventful 95 as the openers went on the attack after captain Steven Smith won the toss and chose to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India received no respite later in the day as Smith and Shane Watson combined for a 144-run partnership to guide Australia to 348-2.

The skipper continued his good form with an effortless 82 not out, including 10 boundaries. Smith leads the scoring this series with 663 runs, including two 50s and three centuries.

Warner was in imperious form and reached his hundred off 108 balls with a pull shot off Mohammed 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 of more than 30,000.

On reaching 63, Warner removed his helmet and kissed the ground near the spot where former Test batsman 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, playing for South Australia, collapsed to the ground.

“It was quite emotional at the beginning of the day. The tribute they did for Phil – the courage for his parents to come out here and watch us play,” Warner said. “The milestones are fantastic, but to land on 63 again and pay tribute to my mate .... taken from us so early, I thought it was a great thing to pay tribute to him.”

Only spinner Ravichandran Ashwin troubled the Australian batsmen, regularly probing outside off stump, and 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 Shami for 95 – his fifth consecutive half-century – trying to flick a delivery to the leg side.

“It was a very tough day (but) it’s very important that we pick ourselves up tonight and try to be as fresh as possible tomorrow,” Ashwin said. “It’s going to be a hard day. If we can keep them down to (a reasonable score) we can get back into it.”

Rogers was given a reprieve on 19 by Lokesh 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.

atson also benefited from some poor Indian fielding with Ashwin dropping a regulation catch off Umesh Yadav at first slip on the penultimate ball of the day.

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 have an unassailable 2-0 series lead, and regained the Border-Gavaskar trophy, with two wins and a draw in the first three Tests.

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