Sydney, Jan 3: Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting combined for an unbeaten 79-run partnership to ensure Australia recovered from an early collapse to retain control on day one of the second cricket test after its inexperienced bowling attack dismissed India for 191.
The 21-year-old James Pattinson (4-43) claimed Sachin Tendulkar among his four wickets, while Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus also reveled in the conditions with three wickets each after India won the toss and elected to bat on a greenish Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
The seam and bounce also aided Indian seamer Zaheer Khan (3-26), who took three quick wickets before Clarke (47 not out) and Ponting (44 not out) rallied in the evening session to lift Australia to 116-3 as the ball got older and the conditions flattened out.
The first 13 wickets fell for 228 runs to start the 100th test match played at the SCG, with only skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's unbeaten 57 and Tendulkar's 41 defying the domination of the bowlers. Tendulkar was in good touch until he dragged a ball from Pattinson onto his stumps, prolonging his quest for a 100th international century.
After Khan removed Dave Warner (8) and Shaun Marsh (0) to have Australia reeling at 8-2 and then trapped Ed Cowan (16) lbw with the total at 37, the experience of Ponting and Clarke seized control.
India's troubles started in the first over when Pattinson dismissed Gautam Gambhir (0). He then returned in his second spell to remove Virender Sehwag (30) and V.V.S. Laxman (2) before claiming the prize wicket of Tendulkar shortly after lunch.
The SCG crowd gave Tendulkar a standing ovation as he left the field, in what is likely his last test at a venue where he scored a double century in 2004 and a hundred in the acrimonious 2008 test.
The "Little Master" has been one shy of his 100th century since March. Ahead of the match, he averaged an astonishing 221 at the SCG, which is hosting its 100th test match this week.
Pattinson had Gambhir caught by skipper Michael Clarke at first slip on just the third ball of the match.
During his second spell he found an edge off Sehwag which carried through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, before producing an outswinger which Laxman guided to Shaun Marsh at third slip.
While Pattinson was again the spearhead of the attack, he was ably supported by Siddle and Hilfenhaus.
Siddle took 3-55, including Rahul Dravid (5) caught at short leg by Ed Cowan. He also claimed Virat Kohli (23) and had Yadav caught behind for a duck for his 100th test wicket.
Hilfenhaus (3-51) bowled impressively in the morning without reward, including having Sehwag dropped by Ponting at second slip.
His luck turned in the afternoon, ending a promising 54-run stand between Dhoni and Ravi Ashwin. He took wickets with consecutive balls to have Ashwin caught at slip and Khan fended a bouncer to Cowan at short leg.
Hilfenhaus snared Sharma (0) in similar fashion after tea, before Siddle wrapped up the innings.
After the shaky start to the reply, Clarke and Ponting stabilized the innings and gave Australia confidence of building a sizable lead on day two to set up a victory in a four-match series which it already leads 1-0.