After watching Phillip Hughes collapse at the SCG two weeks ago and enduring the pain of his death, David Warner didn’t even know if he wanted to get out on the field to play the first Test match against India. Eventually, he did. And what followed was, perhaps, the best tribute he could pay to his “Little mate”. (Also Read: Report: Australia vs India, 1st Test, Day 1, Adelaide)
Warner wrecked havoc at the Adelaide Oval with his incredible brand of strokeplay and flailed the Indian pacers mercilessly. He hit six fours in the first three overs of the day and got to his century before the first drinks break post lunch, all the while thinking of his friend, Phil. (Also Read: HIGHLIGHTS: 1st TEST, DAY 1 - AUSTRALIA VS INDIA, Adelaide Oval)
The Australian opening batsman said this knock of 145 (163 balls) will always hold a special place in his heart.
“This is probably going to be the best of my life. Hopefully I will score some more but this is going to stick with me for the rest of my life,” Warner said. “I had a gut feeling that my little mate was there with me down the other end the whole time laughing at me.
“In the initial part of the game my emotions took over and I found it quite hard. As time passed my instincts kicked in, the adrenaline started pumping and I got into the momentum.”
Warner looked heavenwards when he got to his fifty and again when he reached 63 – the score Hughes was batting on when the fateful bouncer hit him. Getting to that score hit Warner in his heart too.
“The hardest point of the day for me was when I was on 63. It was such a horrific and rare incident that even though the spinner was bowling, just batting on that number felt like it wasn’t right. I was trying to get past that and move on. I had to step away for a second to get my thoughts and process back,” he said.
While Warner’s blitzkrieg put Australia in the driver’s seat, they lost charge a bit in the end as Varun Aaron and Mohammad Shami plucked off three wickets with the second new ball. From a healthy 345 for 3, the hosts went on to end the day with 354 for 6.
Warner acknowledged the marked improvement in India’s bowling performance with the first and the second new ball.
“I thought early on they bowled too short and didn’t make the most of the swing. You saw with the second ball when they pitched it up and got the batsmen driving, there were nicks and dismissals. So, early on they were a bit scratchy but they finished well and won the last session.
“It was a bit disappointing to lose a couple of wickets in the end. We have now got to dig deep and score as many runs as possible tomorrow.
The next four days we have to keep working hard to take 20 wickets It is going to be a hard task but we have got to back ourselves,” Warner said.