Rogers, Warner give Australia perfect start

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Sydney, Jan 6 (IANS) Openers Chris Rogers and David Warner gave Australia the perfect start they needed against India in the fourth and final cricket Test by not losing a single wicket in the morning session of play and scoring 123 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground here Tuesday.

Aussie skipper Steven Smith thought best to bat and in came Rogers (52 not out) and Warner (63 not out) who gave the home side a solid, flying start. Indian bowlers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin — were hammered all over the ground in the 28 overs bowled in the first session of the match.

Having already lost the series 0-2, India went in to the final Test making four changes to the squad. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came in to replace retired Mahendra Singh Dhoni, opener Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and pace bowler Ishant Sharma.

However, the changes bore no fruit as the Australian openers came out to bat with an attacking mindset. Warner scored his 14th Test half century while Rogers struck his fifth consecutive half-century.

The only real chance India had was when Rogers edged a seaming Shami delivery which first went into Lokesh Rahul’s hands at second slip and in the same second the ball popped out. It was the eighth over with the score reading 46 runs with Rogers batting on 19.

There was an emotional moment towards the end of the session when Warner reached 63 not out, bent down and kissed the turf as a tribute to the late cricketer Phillip Hughes, who on this very ground was struck by a fatal bouncer Nov 25 which eventually led to his death two days later.

Hughes was also batting on 63 not out in the first class match when the bouncer hit the back of his head.

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