A plaque honouring Phil Hughes was installed outside the home dressing room at the SCG on Monday © Getty Images
A plaque honouring Phil Hughes was installed outside the home dressing room at the SCG on Monday © Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 5, 2015

The memory of batsman Phillip Hughes will linger over the Australian cricketers in this week’s poignant final Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) where he fell.

A plaque honouring Hughes was installed outside the home dressing room at the SCG on Monday.

It means skipper Steve Smith and his team will be faced with a reminder of Hughes’s shock death at the famous venue every time they take the field in the Test that begins Tuesday.

“Particularly this week, it’s going to be great to be able to walk past that and see the little fella there and give us a bit of inspiration as we’re going out on the field,” Smith said on Monday, eve of the fourth Test.

“Hughesy was one of us, he was one of our good mates. We’ve just got to take care of each other this week.”

Smith said it will be important for the players to keep each of their team-mates in good spirits.

“It’s going to be another emotional Test match and hopefully we can do the Hughes family proud by playing well this week,” he said.

The occasion will be challenging for the entire team and their support staff. But it will be especially taxing for Shane Watson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Brad Haddin and David Warner, who were all fielding on November 25 at the SCG when Hughes, 25, was fatally struck by a bouncer.

“Coming back to the place where it happened, I thought it was going to be extremely tough for the boys,” Smith said.

“Particularly the ones that were out there on the day. It’s going to be a tough Test match … hopefully we can hold our emotions together well and end this series well.”

Hughes’s family are expected to attend. “We’ve just got to make sure we’re very respectful to the Hughes family who are going to be down here for this Test match,” Smith said

Warner, who was fielding close to Hughes and then held his mate’s hand as he was carried off in a critical condition, says he won’t know how he will react until he walks out on to the field for the pre-match anthems.

“It’s going to be tough but I’ve got to try and hold back the emotions and do what I do for the team and try and score runs,” Warner said this week.

“But every time I come here, every time I walk out on the field, every time I’ve got nothing on my mind I’m going to be thinking about it.”

India skipper, Virat Kohli, who was also close to Hughes, said he “couldn’t really imagine what the family must feel like coming to this Test match”.

“It is going to be a strange feeling, stepping on to the field knowing that the incident happened on this very ground,” Kohli said.

“As the game starts, hopefully we can not think about it and get on with the sport which the two teams have done really well in this series.”