David Warner smashed 19 fours to score 145 off 163 balls on the first day © Getty Images
David Warner smashed 19 fours to score 145 off 163 balls on the first day © Getty Images

India and Australia faced off on Day One of the first Test at Adelaide. It was a day of emotional moments, excellent batting, and a late fight back from India. Shiamak Unwalla looks at some of the highlights of the day’s play.

David Warner’s blitz: Mere days ago, David Warner was unable to put bat to ball in Australia’s first net session since Phillip Hughes’ death. In fact, he left the nets midway through in frustration and shed a few tears for his mate. Today, though, Warner was batting on a different plane. He smashed seven fours in his first 15 balls, making 32 in no time. He slowed down thereafter, but ended up scoring a sensational 145 off just 163 balls.

Michael Clarke shows his class, but at a price: It had been announced a day in advance that Michael Clarke would be captaining the side in the first Test. When Clarke came in to bat at 88 for two, it was obvious that he was far from fully fit. He stayed predominantly on the back foot, and barely stretched forward. However, he did not let that deter him. He hit as many as nine boundaries in his 84-ball 60, and was actually the aggressor in his stand with Warner. However, the innings took its toll as he had to walk off the field due to his bad back. He proceeded to leave the ground for further assessment.

63 not out, twice over: It was quite fitting that two batsmen — both of whom were intimately close to Phillip Hughes — achieved exactly 63 not out at some point in their innings. First David Warner, and later on Steven Smith, both achieved the exact score Hughes was batting on when he was struck by the fateful bouncer. Both times, the batsmen looked to the heavens and paid tribute to Hughes.

The Steven Smith-Mitchell Marsh show:   Smith and Mitchell Marsh put on 87 runs in good time to help Australia consolidate their position. Warner and Clarke had set things up early on, but it was left to the two youngsters to ensure Australia reached a commanding position. Unfortunately, Marsh was out late in the day, which opened up the path for India to fight back.

India’s late fight-back: After toiling for 84 overs without a lot of success, India had just three wickets to show for their efforts. At 345 for three, Australia seemed like they would end the day in firm control of the match. But late strikes from Mohammed Shami and Varun Aaron ensured that India firmly tipped the scales in the balance by stumps. With Smith the last recognised batsman — assuming Clarke does not resume his innings — Australia’s long tail will have a tough task ahead of them. Smith can potentially cause some damage on Day Two, but the tail will need to support him. India ended the day in a much better position than they were in six overs before the close of play.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)