Adelaide, Dec 9:
Opener David Warner’s unbeaten 131 and skipper Michael Clarke’s 60 helped Australia reach 238 for two in their first innings at tea on day one of the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval here Tuesday.
After losing Chris Rogers (9) and Shane Watson (14) cheaply, Australia rode on Warner-Clarke partnership of 118 runs for the third wicket before the captain was retired hurt due to back spasm, which has been troubling him for the last couple of years.
However, Warner continued his aggression during the innings which saw him score his 10th Test century as Indian bowlers failed to control him.
The 28-year-old cut, pulled, drove and sliced to collect 17 boundaries and that helped him complete his fifth Test century of the year.
Steve Smith was unbeaten on 17.
After Clarke won the toss and decided to bat, the home team got off to a flying start thanks to the left-handed Warner.
He tore the Indian bowling apart in the first four overs and helped the hosts reach 40 in no time.
Warner milked three boundaries through cover, point and gully in the second over bowled by Varun Aaron to make his intentions clear.
He thrashed Mohammed Shami in the next over for three more boundaries and continued to collect fours regularly, forcing stand-in skipper Virat Kohli to replace an erratic Aaron with Ishant Sharma in the sixth over.
And Ishant responded to the challenge brilliantly, taking the wicket of Rogers. The batsman was dismissed while trying to cover drive a ball which moved away from him. He played it to the waiting hands of Shikhar Dhawan at second slip.
Watson (14) joined Warner in the middle with the team’s score reading 50 for one but the all-rounder didn’t last long as he guided an Aaron delivery to Dhawan while attempting a slice towards the points.
Despite two wickets tumbling in front of him, Warner remained his usual self and reached his fifty with a pull off Aaron in the 15th over.
India surprisingly fielded debutant Karn Sharma instead of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. And the leggie didn’t get much help from the pitch with Clarke and Warner punishing several of his weak deliveries.
Earlier, a rousing 63-second standing ovation marked the start of match as a tribute to Phillip Hughes, who tragically died Nov 27 after being hit by a bouncer during a domestic match.
Both teams wore black armbands in memory of the 25-year-old Hughes, who was batting on an individual score of 63 when a Sean Abbot bouncer hit him at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Nov 25.
The Adelaide Oval crowd stood in silence as legendary commentator Richie Benaud gave a stirring video tribute to Hughes on the big screen. The crowd then erupted into applause for 63 seconds. (IANS)