Adelaide Test, Australia v India – Day One : Warner Reigns Supreme

 

They came early with an air of expectations.

This was a different day. This was the end of the mourning period. No dark clothes here, it was the day for creams. It was the day of respect

The 63 second tribute to Phillip Hughes and the Richie Benaud eulogy said everything and the weather paid its respect too. Hughes’ close mate David Warner did him proud. By the end of the fourth over the home side were 0/40 with Warner 35 not-out, including five beautifully struck boundaries. He was in defiant mood and nothing India could do could stop his onslaught. It was magnificent batting.

Chris Rogers, whose place is still not assured, did not do his cause any good when he was taken in the slips by Shekhar Dhawan off the bowling of Ishant Sharma for nine. Shane Watson was welcomed with a bumper and never looked comfortable during his short stay. One wonders what was going through his head given the current circumstances and his lack of cricket out in the middle. Caught Dhawan off Varun Aaron – who had been wayward earlier in the day – for 14.

Captain Clarke received a marvellous reception when he entered the arena. His form off the ground had been exemplary during a trying fortnight. It was a wonderful appreciation of his leadership by a very thoughtful crowd. A bumper from Aaron greeted him as well.

The Australians consolidated with the score moving to 2/113 at lunch. The morning belonged to David Warner who completely dominated the Indian attack. His score of 77 had shots all-round the ground.

Warner and Clarke dominated the session after lunch and when Warner reached 100 he received a marvellous ovation from the crowd of just over 20,000. He saluted the heavens and then embraced his “brother”. No doubt some words were said in memory of their fallen comrade. It was a unique moment in the annals of cricket. Never has an embrace by two men been so warmly received. Photographers were having a picnic.

They (the photographers) had another “pic nic” when Clarke, on 60, went down with more back problems. He had batted beautifully striking the ball to all parts of the ground and the partnership had yielded 118 runs as the demoralised the Indian attack. I wonder about his future; is there one?

Warner (131) and Smith (17) carried the home side to tea at 2/206. Australia had put India to the sword scoring 125 runs for the session. Main talking point at tea was how far could Warner go?

The answer was given shortly after tea when he holed out to Ishant Sharma to give the debutant Karn Sharma his first test appearance. It was a wonderful performance that was dedicated to his great mate. Warner caught I.Sharma bowled K.Sharma 145. 3 for 258. The resultant acclamation from the crowd said it all. His 19 fours where played all around the wicket.

Smith continued on with his recent good form and was well supported by Mitchell Marsh playing his first test match on home soil. The attack looked very pedestrian and no doubt the lack of play in the middle was showing out.

Marsh (41) got one that rose quickly and he was well caught by Kohli for Aaron’s second wicket. The wicket came as a surprise as both batsmen were looking very comfortable 4/345.

Lyon (3) was sent in as the night watchman and did not last long missing a straight one from Mohammed Shami and the visitors had fought back well 5/352 with 10 minutes to stumps. Steve Waugh would have not been happy sending a night watchman in with 30 minutes of play to go. Haddin – who was kept back – came and went for 0. India had really hit back hard and at stumps they had Australia 6/354 taking 4/116. Smith remained not out on 72 and continued his impressive form.

Despite all the problems associated with changes in the dates for the series, a record first day gate of 25,619 was achieved, beating the 2012 attendance record of 21,480. We can all say forever; “We came to pay homage to Phillip Hughes”.

Whatever we saw or heard during the day, there is no doubt it belonged to David Warner. The purpose in his play was undeniable. His stroke play was imperious. His was an innings for history and so it was to be.

Folklore has been revisited and rewritten.

 

 

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good summary , Bob in what was a unique day obviously full of emotion , India fought back well at the end of the day ( see you Thurs night ) thanks , Bob

  2. Cracking debut, Bob.
    The picture you paint is highly charged.
    Well played.

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