Australia removed both Sri Lankan openers on the first morning after winning the toss and sending the tourists in to bat in the third and final Test in Sydney.
Skipper Michael Clarke looked for a quick return on a bold decision to bowl after going into a Test with four quicks for the first time since the third Test against India in Perth a year ago.
Jackson Bird snared the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne in the eighth over but Australia had to wait until 20 minutes before lunch for a second wicket, with the dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Bird almost grabbed a third but Lahiru Thirimanne survived a review after being given out leg before wicket.
At lunch, Sri Lanka were 80 for two, with skipper Mahela Jayawardene leading the way on 30 and Thirimanne not out four.