After the pair had again rescued Australia's innings from 84-3 to stand at 214 at tea, Clarke made a statement two balls into the final session by marching down the pitch to smash a huge six off part-time spinner Virender Sehwag.
The 30-year-old reached the century, his 19th in tests, with a less emphatic stroke and the ball trickled to the boundary at fourth man for his 14th four.
Sehwag had made a promising start as stand-in skipper for the banned Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the morning, keeping the Australians on the back foot and bucking convention by introducing recalled spinner Ravi Ashwin in the fourth over.
Image: Australia's Michael Clarke makes a run in their cricket test match against India, in Adelaide, Australia Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.
Scorecard | India vs Australia