Watch: Usman Khawaja takes sensational diving catch to dismiss India's Virat Kohli

After eight months of soul-searching and scathing criticism, Australia needed less than an hour at Adelaide Oval to silence superstar Virat Kohli and make an emphatic early statement in the first Test against India.

A sensational one-handed catch from Usman Khawaja removed Kohli for three and reduced India to 3-19 on day one of the four-Test series opener.

The tourists reached 4-56 at lunch today, when Ajinkya Rahane failed to make the most of a life that Peter Handscomb offered him while on two.

Rahane, dismissed for 13 when Handscomb made amends by holding a sharp slips catch, Kohli, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were all out edging to Australia's pacemen.

"They are pretty poor shots, really, from top-order international players," Ricky Ponting said in commentary for Seven.

Playing their first home Test since the Cape Town cheating scandal and first match on free-to-air TV this season, Tim Paine's team started strongly.

Asked to bowl first by Kohli in sapping heat, with temperatures forecast to hit 39 in Adelaide, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc each picked up a wicket in their opening spell.

Hazlewood struck in his first over, delighting in Rahul's lack of footwork and loose drive that led to a thick edge flying to the chest of Aaron Finch at third slip.

Vijay was out to what may well have been the last ball of Starc's first spell, if the recalled opener didn't feather an edge to Paine.

Kohli looked typically composed until he lashed at Pat Cummins' third delivery, then watched in disbelief as the ball rocketed into Khawaja's outstretched left hand.

Khawaja, stationed at gully and playing two days after his brother was arrested, flung himself to the left to complete a dramatic dismissal.

Rahane, dropped in the first over after drinks when he misjudged the first delivery he faced from Nathan Lyon, hammered the offspinner for a six soon after but then threw away his wicket by attempting to put Hazlewood under pressure.