Chris Rogers hit his third Test fifty and was involved in a 121-run stand with Shane Watson for the second wicket after Australia lost David Warner early. (All AFP images)
Shane Watson scored his 21st Test half-century but once again missed out on a big score after making a solid start when he was caught and bowled by Jimmy Anderson for 51.
The Australians, one-up in the series, looked in control at 257 for four nearing stumps, before Graeme Swann held a flying catch two-handed at square leg to dismiss the dangerous George Bailey for 53.
Stuart Broad was the best bowler on Day 1 as he claimed two wickets.
At the close, Australia were 273-5 with Michael Clarke, who boasts a ground average of more than 100, on 48 and Brad Haddin on seven.
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