Fourth Test, Sydney, day one (close): India 284-3 v Australia
Sachin Tendulkar passed 9,000 runs in Tests as India threatened to spoil Steve Waugh's retirement party.
Tendulkar was 73 not out at the end of day one in the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney with India 284-3.
The tourists were given an excellent start by Virender Sehwag (72) and Akash Chopra (45), who put on 123 for the first wicket.
Tendulkar then took over, hitting 12 boundaries in his highest Test score since November 2002.
The stakes could not have been higher at the start of play with the series level at 1-1.
Home skipper Waugh was hoping to mark his 168th and final Test with a victory, but India had equal incentive with a first series win in Australia in their sights.
They went into the game with two spinners, Anil Kumble and Murali Kartik in their side, while Nathan Bracken was preferred to Brad Williams and Andy Bichel by Australia.
The home side endured a frutiless morning as the Indian openers progressed to 98-0 with Brett Lee frustrated after having Chopra caught behind off a no-ball and then seeing Simon Katich drop a catch at gully from the next delivery.
Sehwag, who scored 195 in the third Test, stroked 10 fours and a six but he was first to go when he edged Jason Gillespie to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.
And India soon lost a second wicket as Lee fired down two successive yorkers at Chopra, the second of which removed his middle stump.
Steve Waugh was applauded onto the field by his team
India then looked to Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar, their two best batsman, to steady the innings and they did so by adding 66 in 24 overs.
Tendulkar, whose previous scores in the series were nought, one, 37, nought and 44, became only the fourth batsman in Test history to reach 9,000 runs when he took a single off Gillespie to reach 36 not out.
He progressed to a sedate half century off 100 balls but lost partner Dravid with the total on 194, when the Indian vice-captain was lbw to Gillespie, who marked his return to action after a groin injury with 2-51.
It proved to be Australia's final success of the day as VVS Laxman shared an unbroken stand of 90 with Tendulkar before the close, ending the day on 29.
Australia: Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh (captain), Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Nathan Bracken, Stuart MacGill.
India: Akash Chopra, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly (captain), V.V.S. Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik.
Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WI), Billy Bowden (NZ)