Sydney: The newly appointed Indian captain Virat Kohli is set to take the side into a new era. There will be little more than pride on the line, but both India and Australia have vowed to continue the aggression in the fourth Test.
It will be interesting to see that will Australia continue to dominate the visitors or India rethink their strategies and try to stop the batsmen.
At this stage, Australia is well set to score another 500-plus total in first innings. India must now aim to restrict under this total.
Shami and Yadav bowled on both sides of the wicket and leaked easy runs. Bhuvneshwar was stiff and struggled with his fitness. His did not get any swing either and his floaty full balls were easily dealt with.
After lunch, India removed the openers in quick succession with Ashwin creating pressure from end. However, Steve Smith extended his prolific form in the series and pushed the visitors into submission. Watson, who was under some pressure coming into this Test, responded with a fighting fifty of his own. The upshot is that Australia are sitting pretty at 348 with as many as 8 wickets in the shed.
Another dominant session for Australia to cap off the day. Warner's quickfire century was the highlight of the day. The Aussie opener was ultra emotional after reaching 63* but composed himself after the lunch break and powered the hosts forward. Chris Rogers proved to be an able foil in a big 200-run opening stand but was unfortunate to convert his fifty 50-plus score in a row to three figures.
India began the day with an early dropped catch and have ended with another drop. They let the hosts score 106 runs in 30 overs without losing a wicket in the last session.
STUMPS DAY 1
Australia 348/2 after 90 overs
Watson 61 (132), Smith 82 (134)
The 10 overs bowled by Indians with the second new ball might not have given them any wicket but they made it difficult for the Australians and could only be able to score runs. Watson survived an outside edge when Ashwin had his hands touched to the ball which went to third man boundary in the last over of the day by Umesh Yadav. Meanwhile the partnership of 144 runs between Smith and Watson kept India frustrated at stumps today.
Australia 326/2 after 85 overs
Watson 52 (117), Smith 70 (118)
Bhuvi and Shami bowled a decent spell of 5 overs by the second new ball conceding just 9 runs and the run rate is now under 4 rpo.
Second new ball has been taken by India. Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl the first over. Can it change fortunes of India in the match?
Australia 317/2 after 80 overs
Watson 50 (102), Smith 63 (104)
India have bowled 20 overs after tea. They have conceded 75 despite a defensive line to a leg-side field and failed to pick a wicket. The top-4 have scored 50-plus totals. The only thing that India have managed to do well in this session, is bowl their overs quickly. Apart from that, Smith and Watson are batting without any trouble. The partnership has crossed the 100-run landmark and Watson who was stuggling a bit earlier gets his hard fought half century as well.
Australia 300/2 after 75 overs
Watson 37 (83), Smith 59 (93)
Over-rate by India has been really good as Kohli has put on Ashwin and Raina from the two ends. The scoring rate has come down to 4 rpo but they still manage to collect singles. Shane Watson is supporting his partner Smith very well and gets the Australian total past 300 and their partnership close to 100.
Australia 288/2 after 70 overs
Watson 31 (75), Smith 53 (71)
Steven Smith continues his profilic form in the series. He smashed another half century and has build a solid partnership of 84 runs in just 97 balls with Shane Watson.
Australia 261/2 after 65 overs
Watson 15 (56), Smith 42 (60)
Smith-Watson duo has completed the 50-run partnership. Smith is charging in once again for the Aussies while Watson continues with his tough time to score runs as Indian bowlers especially the pacers again proved to be expensive.
Ashwin has the ball and Watson takes the strike.
The final session of the day will resume shortly.
India could have given a chance to Akshar Patel and played two spinners. Ashwin has bowled well till now.
Steve Smith has looked his usual busy self, while Watson is hanging in and is seen struggling among the runs.
India managed to prise out two wickets in two overs, but has turned out to be Australia's session again. David Warner continued in his merry way, notching up his third century of the series. Rogers looked set for a ton of his own before he chopped a Shami delivery back onto the stumps. Warner though was the first to depart, looping a catch to gully off a leading edge with Ashwin getting some reward for good bowling.
Australia 242/2 after 60 overs
Watson 10 (37), Smith 28 (49)
Steven Smith is looking good at one end. He seems to be in no trouble for runs. The partnership is also slowly building up. Hoever Watson at other end who has been facing criticism over his test cricket from continues to struggle. Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished the second session with a maiden over to Smith.
Australia 228/2 after 55 overs
Watson 7 (30), Smith 17 (26)
The scoring rate is slowly coming down after the wickets of Warner and Rogers. Part-time spinner Suresh Raina was brought in by the skipper Kohli in place of Ashwin but was smashed for four in the very first delivery by Smith which was followed by a maiden over.
Australia 216/2 after 50 overs
Watson 4 (13), Smith 8 (13)
Well set Chris Rogers fell just five short of his century and it could have been back-to-back Test centuries at the SCG for him. Two new batsmen are on the crease and the Indian bowlers must now try to pitch the ball on right areas and restrict Aussies from dominating another session.
Steven Smith is in at no. 4
Chris Rogers b Shami 95 (160)
OUT! Bowled him! No century for Rogers. He fell just 5 short and is disappointed after his dismissal. That was on a back of a length and comes in, Rogers aims for another punch, but gets a thick inside edge onto the top of middle. Two quick wickets means two new batsmen will be on the crease now.
Australia 200/1 after 45 overs
Rogers 91 (155), Watson 0 (1)
Australian openers set up a double century stand before Warner was dismissed by Ashwin shortly after completing his 12th test century. India needed that wicket as the partnership was taking the game away from them. They will have to take a few more if they have to make a comeback in the game. Chris Rogers at other end is on 91 as well.
Shane Watson comes to the crease
David Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 101 (114)
OUT! Warner is out. Extra bounce for Ashwin. It was around off which angled in to the middle. Warner tries to dab it onto the leg side and gets a leading edge to Vijay at gully. Finally the partnership is broken.
David Warner gets his third century in the series with a brilliant boundary to deep square leg off Shami. He jumps in the air and celebrates his achievement. He is delighted and so are the rest of the players in the dressing room.
Australia 181/0 after 40 overs
Rogers 78 (134), Warner 95 (106)
Both the batsmen are slowly inching towards their individual centuries. Warner is on 95, just five short while Rogers is making his way as well. They have played some conventional shots for boundaries and runs in form singles are still flowing for the opening duo. India badly need two professional spinners which they have not included.
Australia 156/0 after 35 overs
Rogers 69 (119), Warner 79 (91)
Warner and Rogers continues the slaughter of Indian bowling attack. The partnership has crossed the landmark of 150 and no great effort from the bowlers to stop them.
Mohammad Shami to start off and Rogers has the strike.
The players are back in the field.
Second session will be underway in moments.
India needs to put the break on Australian run flow after the hosts have already set up a good platform for themselves.
Ashwin has created a few problems, but the India fast bowlers have been often wayward, and largely harmless.Warner got to 63 and got emotional. He paid a fitting tribute to his late mate Phil Hughes and the crowd gave him a fine ovation.
It's Australia all the way in that session. They won a good toss and the openers have rattled along at more than 4 rpo. It's a batting wicket, but India did themselves no favors by bowling without a plan. Shami produced the chance but Rahul dropped a sitter at slip to let-off Rogers on 19.
Australia 123/0 after 28 overs
Rogers 52 (94), Warner 63 (74)
Chris Rogers scored fifth consecutive half century in the series before the lunch break and outclassed Indian bowling attack building a century opening stand with Warner at other end. David Warner reached the score of 63* with a single and straightaway went down to the pitch and kisses the turf where Hughes played his last match. Huge applause by the crowd and Warner wiped off his tears. The scoring rate has however came down to 4.39 from 5.5 runs per over.
Australia 102/0 after 20 overs
Rogers 40 (67), Warner 56 (53)
Warner is on fire at Sydney Cricket Ground. He reaches his 14th half century in 36 matches after hitting Umesh Yadav for three consecutive boundaries and built a century partnership for first wicket with Chris Rogers. Ashwin bowled the first maiden in 18 overs and in a spin friendly track like this, he needs to control the flow of runs and cover the damage done by the pacers from other end.
Australia 79/0 after 15 overs
Rogers 39 (52), Warner 34 (38)
Australia off to a terrific start and India haven't helped their cause by dropping Chris Rogers with Rahul the culprit. It's a flat wicket and India's bowlers are already resorting to strange tactics by bowling short to Rogers. The bowlers seem to be unsettled with their line and lengths. They have not been able to make sure which side to bowl. Ashwin was introduced in 14th over right after the drinks break.
Australia 56/0 after 10 overs
Rogers 23 (31), Warner 27 (29)
Australians are among the runs once again. Both the openers are on with a half century partnership in no time. Mohammad Shami bowled couple of good deliveries to Warner missing outside edge before Rogers was dropped by Lokesh Rahul at slips. Chris Rogers went to punch off the back foot and it was a sitter to Rahul. The ball just popped out of his hands. How costly that could be for India? Their slip cordon still remains a concern.
Australia 39/0 after 5 overs
Rogers 18 (16), Warner 15 (14)
Australia got off to another flying start here. They are already 39 in first five overs with five boundaries scored. Both Warner and Rogers are looking good and playing shots on both sides of the ground. No such delivery bowled by Bhuvi and Umesh so far which could trouble the batsmen.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets the new ball and Rogers is on strike.
Chris Rogers is playing his last match on Australian soil.
So the openers Chris Rogers and David Warner are walking in while Indians are in a huddle.
The weather is hot and it was a good toss to win for Australia. It can be a another high scoring game.
It will be a emotional test match following Phil Hughes death here at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
India (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav
It is a spin-friendly track but both sides have included just one spinner.
Three changes for India. Saha, Raina, Rohit and Bhuvneshwar are in for Dhoni, Dhawan, Pujara and Ishant. Rahul will open with Vijay. Rohit slated to bat at 3 and Raina at 6. That's a big decision by the new skipper.
Toss update: Australia have won the toss and have opted to bat first
While India played 10 games at SCG and won just 1 and that too in 1978. They have lost five and drawn four.
Australia have won 11 out of their last 12 Tests in Sydney.
The hosts had initially included Ashton Agar in the squad, contemplating a twin spin attack, but that plan has been done away with. Watson, who suffered a bout of stomach illness, is also fit. India have been quite coy about their combination. However, Kohli has vowed that they will play positively under his leadership.
Needless to say, but worth mentioning though - this Test will be the Pink Test as has been the case with all Sydney Tests ever since Jane McGrath passed away due to cancer. One will see a lot of Pink.