I couldn’t let this test go by without posting something. It has been a rough couple of weeks for Australian cricket and Australian sport in general. We started with the funeral for one Philip Hughes who passed away after a tragic accident ended his innings for 63 not out, which will stand in the record books for ever as the game was abandoned out of respect for him and his family. The test series between Australia and India was pushed back with India agreeing to a later date to give the Australian’s time to grieve and deal with the loss of one of their own. Michael Clarke gave one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard at the funeral. see below to watch the entire speech and I dare you not to cry.
Then it was time to get back to business, and boy was it one of the best test matches I have seen in a long while with both sides giving their absolute all. Memories of Phillip Hughes permeated the first day of Australia Test series against India before play got underway.
Two weeks after Hughes was hit by a ball during a Sheffield Shield game against New South Wales, tributes for the 25-year-old started the opening day’s play at his adopted home ground, the Adelaide Oval.
Both teams entered the playing arena wearing black armbands before a short tribute narrated by Australian cricket icon Richie Benaud was played.
“A boy, just beginning, 25 years of age, Baggy Green number 408,” Benaud began.
“His father’s best mate, son, brother, fighter, friend, inspiration.
“Phillip Hughes, forever. Rest in peace, son.”
Sixty-three seconds of applause, in honour of Hughes’s final score of 63 not out, followed immediately after, with Australia captain Michael Clarke casting his eyes skyward.
Opener David Warner gestured to the heavens when he reached half-century during the first session, and again when he hit 63 as fans held up signs showing the famous score.
The shirts of every member of the Australian team is emblazoned with Hughes’s Test cap number of 408.
He was named 13th man for the opening Test and Clarke said he expects that to be the case, at least in the minds of players, for the rest of their careers.
“He will be with us the rest of the way,” Clarke told Channel Nine.
“We are ready to go. The players, the public, the media I think everybody is excited to get out and play cricket.
“I think it will take a long time to get over it and what I know our little buddy would like us doing is getting out here and playing good cricket.”
When play began it was clear that David Warner was on an absolute mission. The opener who had been present at the game when Philip Hughes was hit, was out to score big in honor of his fallen friend and he quickly brought up his 100 before he was dismissed on 145. Clarke battled injury to bring up his 100 and the Aussies brought up 517 and Michael Clarke declared and sent the Indians in to bat.
The captain of the Indian side Virat Kohli was a stand out with an unbeaten 115 in his first innings before he was dismissed by Mitchel Johnson. The stand out in the Australian bowling was Nathan Lyon with a 5 wicket haul. The Indians were bowled out for 444.
The second Australian innings started much the same as the first with Warner scoring a second test century in an entertaining fashion. The game was interrupted by an announcement that Sean Abbot the fast-paced bowler who bowled the delivery that hit Philip Hughes, not only was playing in the Sheffield Shield competition, the same competition that Hughes was playing in, had taken 9 wickets for only 14 runs ( for Americans I’ll translate it 9 out for only 14 scored. ) The crowd led by David Warner on the field erupted into applause for the young bowler who was so distraught over the accident that he almost gave the sport away. The Australians later declared for 290 leaving the Indians with a 363 run chase.
Virat Kohli was again the standout performer for the Indians, with an unbeaten 141. Murali Vijay was the next best with 99. Lyon was incredible again with a 7 wicket haul, and India was all out for 315.
The Australians celebrated their emotional win over the Indians directly over the white 408 that was painted on the field for the 13th man and their ‘little mate’ Philip Hughes. never will we forget that number and the man it represents. In honor of his impressive performance Nathan Lyon was awarded ‘Man of the Match’
hearts everywhere stopped after this delivery and a distraught Mitchel Johnson had to be calmed down before play could resume.
Regardless of the outcome all players from both teams played extremely well. it was a fair even match and every one involved should be extremely proud of the way they played and the spirit in which they played. it was clear on the faces of both teams how much this match and the man it symbolized really meant and it was the best tribute for the late great Philip Hughes
R.I.P Phillip our ‘little mate’ we’ll see you out in the middle.