Warner smashes his way to 77 as Australia reach 113/2 at lunch

Adelaide: David Warner took Indian pacers to the task during his unbeaten knock of 77 as Australia made a rollicking start reaching 113 for two at lunch on the first day of the first cricket Test, which started on an emotional note on backdrop of Phillip Hughes’ demise.

Warner’s strokefilled innings had 12 boundaries and he faced only 73 balls, putting Indian new-ball attack to the sword. At lunch, it was skipper Michael Clarke (9 batting) giving Warner company.

India, under new captain Virat Kohli, though had something to cheer as Ishant Sharma (1/17) removed opener Chris Rogers (9) while Varun Aaron (1/51) dismissed Shane Watson (14).

Both were out giving catches to Shikhar Dhawan stationed at second slip.

There was an emotional outpour before the start of play as tributes were paid to late Phillip Hughes. Both teams lined up behind his number 408 as everyone gathered at the stadium gave a rousing applause lasting 63 seconds. Hughes has been termed as the ’13th man’ of the Australian squad.

When Aaron bowled a sharp bouncer in the fourth over, the crowd applauded as a tribute to Hughes.

The most poignant moment came when Warner got two runs off debutant Karn Sharma to reach 63. The batsman looked towards heaven paying tribute to his mate as all those present at the Adelaide Oval clapped in admiration.

Incidentally, Hughes was not out on 63 when he was struck by Sean Abbott’s bouncer.

There was not much to write home about India’s pace attack during the first session. In absence injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami (0-30), who began the proceedings, straightaway went round the wicket to openers Warner and Rogers.

Aaron on the otherhand, sprayed the ball all around and got a pasting from Warner. In fact, he hit six boundaries in the first three overs, racing to 28 off 13 balls.