David Warner scored an emotional century and shared in a 200-run opening stand with Chris Rogers to put Australia in a strong position on the opening day of the final Test against India Tuesday.Â (Day 1 Blog)
Warner posted his third ton of the series and his first at the Sydney Cricket Ground where he honoured the memory of his fallen friend Phillip Hughes, who was fatally struck by a bouncer at the same ground in November.
Upon reaching the symbolic score of 63 that Hughes had made when he was hit, Warner kissed the ground and then looked skywards before clapping in tribute.
Warner pulled Mohammed Shami to the boundary to bring up his 12th Test century off 108 balls with 16 fours.
He was out soon after for 101 off 114 balls, caught at slip off a leading edge from spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Australia went to tea at 242 for two with skipper Steve Smith on 28 and Shane Watson not out 10.
Warner batted for 180 minutes with 16 fours and put on 200 runs for the opening wicket with Rogers.
Rogers, who gave chances on 19 and 90, followed Warner to the pavilion six balls later when he was bowled for 95 by Shami, with his fifth Test hundred again eluding him after posting his fifth consecutive half-century of the series.
The Sydney Test was being played against the poignant backdrop of the tragic death of Hughes.
A plaque honouring the batsman has been installed outside the home dressing room at the SCG and served as a reminder for the Australian players of their former team-mate.
India made four changes with Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar coming into the side.
The tourists left out opener Shikhar Dhawan with Lokesh Rahul promoted to open the innings, Sharma replacing Cheteshwar Pujara and Saha for the newly-retired Mahendra Singh Dhoni at wicketkeeper, while Kumar came in for paceman Ishant Sharma.
The Australians made only one change with Mitchell Starc replacing injured paceman Mitchell Johnson.