Warner, Smith shine on emotional first day


Australia batted with resolve and aggression on day one of the first Test against India in Adelaide, reaching stumps on 354 for six thanks to a century from David Warner and an unbeaten half ton from Steve Smith.

On an emotionally taxing day, which saw the Australia players shed a tear more than once, India bowled poorly for the most part, before coming back with a flurry of wickets in the evening session, though unable to dislodge Smith (72 not out).

Australia captain Michael Clarke was one serious casualty though, having been picked to play despite a recent hamstring injury. This time it was his lower back though, as he was forced to retire hurt and is a doubt for the rest of the game, if not the series.

Clarke won the toss and opted to bat, as is tradition at the Oval, with the sombre atmosphere reflected in the 63 minutes of silence in honour of Phillip Hughes. Clarke was again visibly emotional, as he has shown in the past two weeks.

The Aussies got off to a flying start thanks to Warner, who batted at ODI pace and soon brought up the 50 opening stand. Chris Rogers contributed only nine runs to that though, before being removed by Ishant Sharma.

Shane Watson was next to depart, having been bombarded by bouncers, as he made 14 before falling to Varun Aaron. This left Warner and Clarke to take the score from 88 to 206, at which point Clarke had to leave the field.

The pair put on 118 runs at nearly five to the over, with Warner reaching his century off 106 balls, including 14 fours. After his customary leap and air punch, he was overcome with emotion, as he and his skipper, seemingly the two most affected by Hughes' death, embraced on the pitch.

After Clarke reached his fifty, also looking to the heavens, he made his way to 60 before falling to his knees as his back went into spasm. After being looked at on the field by the team doctor, he left the field and was taken for medical attention.

Warner and Smith made their way to tea, essentially three down, but the former was unable to make it much past the interval. He was out for 145, pulling a Karn Sharma delivery into the deep and caught by Ishant. It was Karn's maiden Test wicket.

Smith continued with Mitchell Marsh by his side, and soon reached his fifty too. While that celebration was more subdued. he was more animated when reaching 63 not out, tapping the black tape on his arm as the crowd applauded as though it were a ton.

Marsh was one of four wickets to fall in the evening, out for 41. He was caught in the slips by Virat Kohli off Aaron's bowling. Mohammed Shami took the last two wickets, with Nathan Lyon out for three and Brad Haddin's wicket, for a duck, closing out the day.