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by Chetan Narula Tuesday 9 December 2014
On an immensely emotional day for Australian cricket, David Warner shone through and struck his 10th Test hundred against India in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval. His 145 runs helped the hosts reach 345 for six at stumps.
"It is probably the best knock of my career," said an emotional Warner after the day’s play.
"Hopefully I can score some more hundreds later on but this is definitely going to stick with me for the rest of my life.
"Throughout the innings I had this gut feeling that my little mate (Phillip Hughes) was with me at the other end, all the time from ball one.
"I know he will be laughing at other end, about all the support and the messages he has received because he wouldn’t have believed the amount of support he has had not in Australia but from all over the world."
Warner made a rousing start to the day, hitting a plethora of boundaries, and even though Australia lost two wickets in the morning session, he added 118 runs with Michael Clarke for the third wicket. Afterwards Clarke had to retire on 60 owing to a lower back injury and left the ground. He will be assessed on day two by the Australian team’s medical staff.
"I thought of not celebrating my hundred, but then Hughes would have wanted me to, knowing him.
"Michael (Clarke) was at the other end with me and he said he would have been proud of me.
"Even he (Clarke) raised his bat when he was batting on 37* and I hope Michael can come out tomorrow and get the rest of his 40-odd runs," the opener added.
Throughout the day there was an outpouring of emotion for Hughes. Before play started, there were tributes to the cricketer read out by Richie Benaud and applause for 63 seconds. But the hardest part was yet to come, atleast for Warner.
"When I was on 63, it was just the hardest bit for me. It was just a horrific and rare incident that happened to Hughes, and it was on the back of my mind.
"Staying on that score, I just didn’t feel right. I tried to get past that and tried to move on, but it will always be at the back of our minds for the rest of our careers.
"Tougher than this will be walking out at the Sydney Cricket Ground and playing where it happened," he said.
"But we are back to business today. It was fantastic that we came out and put runs on the board. It is a good first innings score that we have put up and we just have to keep pushing on.
"There is a lot of cricket to be played in this match," he added.
India struck back late in the day with the second new ball, taking three wickets in the last hour’s play in addition to that of Warner earlier on. The visitors fielded a four-bowler attack giving leg-spinner Karn Sharma an unexpected debut. He finished with figures of one for 89 from 23 overs.
"I just got to know this morning that I will be making my debut," said Sharma.
"I had this confidence that I will get a chance sooner or later on this tour. But getting it in the first match itself is was very good for me."
"It was very good for us that we came back in the last session. We just want to continue that in the morning tomorrow and get crucial wickets.
"This pitch is good for batting there is neither turn nor bounce, but it should take some turn from day three or four. If we take three-four wickets early morning tomorrow, then it will be good for us," he added.
© Cricket World 2014