David Warner’s typically attacking 145 gave Australia a strong start to the Test series with India delayed by the tragic death of Phillip Hughes.
Powerful opener Warner hit 19 fours in the 163 balls he faced as the hosts reached 354 for six at Adelaide after winning the toss.
A source of concern for Australia was captain Michael Clarke retiring hurt on 60 with a recurrence of his long-standing back trouble that had made him a doubt for this game. Clarke was succeeded at the wicket by Steven Smith, who was unbeaten on 72 at stumps.
Tributes to Hughes in this match included 408, his Test cap number, adorning the outfield and Australia’s shirts, and before the start of play there was a video about the batsman narrated by Australia legend Richie Benaud plus 63 seconds of applause, the same number as Hughes’ final score.
Like Australia’s international schedule, the Sheffield Shield domestic competition resumed today. Sean Abbott, the paceman whose delivery felled Hughes, returned to action for New South Wales.
At the Adelaide Oval Warner struck five fours in his first eight balls before the economical Ishant Sharma had Chris Rogers held at second slip with the score on 50.
Shane Watson, who this autumn missed Australia’s Test series loss to Pakistan through injury, soon fell in the same manner, although off Varun Aaron’s bowling.
Warner and Clarke settled into a stand of 118 as Virat Kohli, leading India in place of the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, shuffled his five-man attack on a hot day.
The opener went to his ton from 106 deliveries shortly before Clarke raised a smooth half-century. As each reached their milestone they looked to the sky.
Clarke retired hurt just prior to tea, but Smith joined Warner in a fifty partnership that ended when the latter holed out to deep midwicket off debutant leg-spinner Karn Sharma.
Smith and Mitchell Marsh, who was denied lining up alongside brother Shaun by Clarke playing, then shared an alliance worth 87 until Marsh fell for 41 to Aaron at gully.
Like Marsh, the second new ball also did for nightwatchman Nathan Lyon and Brad Haddin, who were respectively caught behind and bowled by Mohammed Shami, as the tourists fought back late on.
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