David Warner looks up to the skies after getting his second ton for the game. Somewhere, his mate Phil Hughes would be very proud © Getty Images
David Warner looks up to the skies after getting his second ton for the game. Somewhere, his mate Phil Hughes would be very proud © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Dec 12, 2014

David Warner‘s sparkling century helped Australia into the driver’s seat in the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval. Australia finished Day Four on 290 for five and they are leading by 363. In all likelihood, they would declare before start of play on Day Five or perhaps after a few overs. India face a tough ask and would be content in saving the game.

It was a day where Warner made history as he became the second Australian after Don Bradman to hit two tons in a Test against India. His performance put Australia in command of the game and they can enforce themselves on India going into Day Five. By the time he was dismissed for 102, Australia were the side that could chase victory, with India playing to save the game.

India began the day on 369 for five and were bowled out for 422. Nathan Lyon completed a five-wicket haul as he exploited the turn on offer. In hindsight, Virat Kohli’s dismissal late on Day Three allowed Australia back in the game as the Indians were dominating until then. The batting was largely attritional, but Mohammed Shami’s entertaining 34 pumped some life into the game.

Watching Lyon bowl, India brought in Karn Sharma early in the innings. He did get Chris Rogers early, but it was the Warner show all the way. He was attacking the spinners with reverse-sweeps, drives and sweeps. It was a classy display from Warner as he mixed caution and aggression. Getting the ton was one of the most emotional moments of the game as Warner walked over to the ‘408’ mark while leaping in the air and looking at the sky. For the second time in the game, he had also been on the exact score of 63.

For a major part of the day, it was Warner who held the innings together. Shane Watson scored 31 and Michael Clarke was dismissed for seven. Later, Steven Smith entered the fray and played freely as Warner made merry. Smith went on to get a quick fifty. Mitchell Marsh also joined in with a 26-ball 40, during which he smashed three sixes and a four off a Karn over.

But, perhaps this day may be remembered for the altercations on the field. Varun Aaron was not brought into the attack until after the 30th over. He bowled Warner early in his spell and celebrated. However, replays confirmed that he had overstepped. Warner dished out a “come on” as he came back. He repeated it when he left the next ball. Shikhar Dhawan walked in and an argument ensued. Soon Virat Kohli and the umpires had to calm things down.

Later on, Smith questioned Rohit Sharma after a fruitless appeal, that did not go down well with Kohli, who had a long chat with him. Umpire Ian Gould had to intervene even then. Nevertheless, it was a day Australia took control and it gives them a chance of pushing for victory on Day Five.

Brief scores:

Australia 517 for 7 decl. (David Warner 145, Michael Clarke 128, Steven Smith 158*; Varun Aaron 2 for 136, Mohammed Shami 2 for 129, Karn Sharma 2 for 143) and 290 for 5 (David Warner 102, Steven Smith 52*; Karn Sharma 2 for 95) lead India 444 (Murali Vijay 53, Cheteshwar Pujara 73, Virat Kohli 115, Ajinkya Rahane 62; Mitchell Johnson 2 for 102, Peter Siddle 2 for 88, Nathan Lyon 5 for 134) by 363 runs.

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)