Warner: I owe Hughes

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Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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David Warner dedicated his 10th Test century to his late team-mate Phillip Hughes on an emotional resumption of Test cricket in Australia.

Warner made a brilliant 145 on day one of the delayed first Test against India in Adelaide, which was preceded by tributes to Hughes.

He raised his bat to the heavens upon reaching 50, 63 – Hughes’ score when he was fatally struck by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield game – and 100 and upon his dismissal.

The celebrations were especially exuberant and poignant upon reaching three figures and Warner told Sky Sports 2: “I like to do a little bit of a celebration but that was definitely for him today.

“I knew the little man up there was with me at the other end and it all fell into place.

“When I scored my first hundred, he was at the other end and I dedicate that hundred to him today.

“Out of the 10 that I’ve scored now, that was probably the best. I owe that to him, I know his family’s going to be watching back at home, it’s been an emotional week for all of us and I know he’ll be proud of us.”

Warner was playing for New South Wales and raced to Hughes’ side when the South Australia batsman was felled by Sean Abbott’s delivery on November 25.

Hughes died two days later, aged 25, and there were questions about whether Warner would be emotionally ready to take on India.

He said: “Being there on the day that it happened, it was quite tough, the memories are still stuck in my head.

“I spoke a lot to Michael Lloyd, our (sport psychologist), and the support of everyone on social media, the group around us and my fiancee Candice, it’s been amazing.

“It was quite tough early on there, with the 63-second applause and getting through that national anthem, that was probably what set me off.

“Coming out and playing the way I did, there was a lot of adrenaline there. It was all instinct, that’s how I play.”

Reflecting on the moment he reached 63, he added: “It was something that was in the back of my mind, it’s going to be a special number for all of us for a long time.

“It was a bit emotional, Michael (Clarke, captain) said to me to take my time and I did, I had a bit of a tear in my eye there. For however long my career goes, it’s going to be special for me.”

Australia’s stumps total of 354 for six saw Warner put on 118 with Clarke, who retired hurt on 60 after aggravating his troublesome back injury.

Asked for an update on his skipper’s fitness, Warner said: “I’m not too sure at the moment, I think he’s gone off for some scans, but he didn’t look too good out there.

“He’s a tough character and he’s been phenomenal throughout the whole incident, his support for the family and representing us off the field was amazing.

“He fought hard for his first 50 and he was set for a hundred. Hopefully he can get back out here and do the job.”

Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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