Hayden steered the hosts to a healthy 239/8 after India new-ball bowlers Praveen and Ishant struck early to reduce 'em to 23/3.
The burly Queenslander shared a 100-run partnership along with Symonds (31) to steady the tottering Aussie innings. Hussey made a solid 67-ball 45 while Lee (17 off 10) played a little cameo to take their side post a competitive total.
Praveen and Harbhajan were the top bowlers for India taking two wickets apiece. Pathan had a off day conceding too many runs. Left-arm seamer gave away as many as 63 runs in his 7 overs.
Australian won the toss and soon had reason to rue its decision to bat first on a wicket slightly under-prepared due to heavy pre-match rain.
Adam Gilchrist, in his final appearance at the SCG, made his way to seven before attempting to pull a ball that wasn't quite there from swing bowler Praveen Kumar.
Yuvraj Singh, running back at mid-on, took a well-judged catch to leave Australia 1-16.
Ricky Ponting made just one before he dragged Kumar onto his stumps attempting an ill-advised pull shot.
Australia's fortunes slumped even further when Michael Clarke (four) was given out caught behind off Ishant Sharma with the score on 24.
Hayden and Symonds then revived Aussie fortunes with a stand that may eventually prove a match-winning one on a two-paced wicket.
Hayden after seeing thro' the opening spells of new-ball bowlers targetted the first change bowler Pathan hitting him for three boundaries in as many balls in Baroda seamer's first over. Hayden's 88-ball knock studded with 10 boundary hits.
Symonds at the other end was keen on giving strike to the fellow Queenslander.
However India hit back thro' Harbhajan. The offie sent his bete noire(s) Hayden and Symonds packing in quick succession. Symonds swatted a catch to Praveen Kumar at deep mid-wicket while Hayden was cayght at deep point by Chawla to leave Aussies in some sort of bother at 135/5 in 28 overs.
Hussey took the baton from Hayden and anchored his side's innings to safety. He added 33 runs with Hopes for the sixth wicket and shared a brisk 39 runs with Hogg (23*) to take Aussies past 200 mark. And Lee's cameo knock in the final overs furthered Australia.
Australia 239/8 in 50 overs (Hayden 82, Hussey 45, Symonds 31, Hogg 23 n o; Praveen 2 for 49, Harbhajan 2 for 38, Ishant 1 for 32) Vs India.