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Michael Clarke was given a reprieve by India's lack of faith in technology before reaching a magnificent century to lead Australia to 7-316 at stumps on day one of the first test.
Clarke will resume on Saturday on 103 from 169 deliveries with 11 fours and one six.
The tourists - who chose to bat first in a crumbling, spinning pitch in Chennai - stumbled to 5-153 after lunch on Friday.
That was before debutant allrounder Moises Henriques played a mature hand of 68 and shared a 151-run stand with Clarke.
Peter Siddle is one not out.
The day's pivotal incident came when Clarke was on 39 in the penultimate over before tea.
The right-hander appeared to give a bat-pad catch to short leg but the appeal from offspinner Ravi Ashwin (6-88) was turned down.
The short-sighted decision by the India board to oppose the use of the decision-review system (DRS) has already proved costly in this series.
It was Clarke's 23rd hundred and ninth in 22 matches as captain and came with a stylish four to long-off in the second-last ball before stumps.
"It was quite clear for me he hit the ball," Ashwin said.
Clarke was unavailable for comment after play but Henriques said the skipper realised after seeing a replay that he'd been a lucky man.
"It looked like it just glanced his thigh pad and went up. But then once I saw the big screen it was a slightly different opinion," Henriques said.
"We didn't really speak about it out in the middle but after he had a look at the replay at the tea break I think he realised he was a little bit lucky."
David Warner added 64 for the first wicket with Ed Cowan (29).
Ashwin threw Australia's middle order into disarray by removing Shane Watson lbw for 28 in the first over after the interval.
Ashwin trapped Warner (59) lbw in his next over and 12 runs later Matthew Wade (12) was Ashwin's third lbw victim at 5-153.
Clarke, who began the series seven runs behind Bradman's 6996 runs, became the 10th Australian player to reach the 7000-mark with a cut shot to the point boundary off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh.
Australia reached 5-215 at tea and Henriques was out in the 90th over with the total on 304, when he was Ashwin's fourth lbw victim. Mitchell Starc was bowled by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the next over.
Australia attempted to put off-field security tensions to one side on Friday following twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad overnight which claimed the lives of at least 14 people.
The second test starts in Hyderabad on March 2.