Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia opener David Warner believes that the spirit of Phillip Hughes was with him the entire time when he scored a superb 145 on the first day of the first Test against India in Adelaide.
Warner also feels that this century will be the best of his entire career and definitely the one he will remember most.
“I think this is going to be the best of my career,” Warner said. “Hopefully I can score some more, but I think that’s going to stick with me for the rest of my life. I had a gut feeling that my little mate was down the other end with me the whole time from ball one. Up the other end laughing at me about all the support and all the people who’ve sent their messages down to him.
“The hardest point of the day for me was when I was on 63. It was such a horrific incident and a rare incident that in the back of my mind even though a spinner was bowling, just that number in the back of my mind wasn’t right. So I wanted to try to get past that, it was quite tough when I was on 63 to get that momentum. Michael asked me at the other end if I was okay, I had to step away for a couple seconds there to get my thoughts and my process back again.
“It’s going to be with this generation for the rest of our lives and careers. A lot of people will probably raise their bats at 63, but in the back of our mind we’re always going to look up there and know he’s looking down on us. I’m going to carry it for the rest of my career, I know that.”
There were doubts about whether Warner would be in the right state of mind to play the first Test following Hughes’ funeral in his hometown of Macksville.
However, Warner stated that, even though he found it tough to train, he could not let the entire cricketing community down.
“The first net session I walked out of I was nowhere, so I went out and bowled to the guys, I just felt I had to do something and I didn’t just want to linger around and take in the emotions,” Warner said. “I went and faced the net bowlers the next day I think I lasted two or three balls and went and had throw-downs. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to keep soldiering on and do your best. We know he’s always going to be with us.
“I’m proud of the guys to actually walk out there and play today. It’s been a very tough week and a bit. The guys were talking about not coming out, and all of us actually getting there, taking the field and uniting as one that was probably the proudest moment for me today.”
Warner also admitted that his emotions completely took over when he brought up his 10th Test century.
“I think the initial part before the game started my emotions took over and I found it quite hard when I came off there to regroup a little bit,” Warner said. “Then I just played on my instincts and I think it showed the adrenaline was pumping and I slowly gained back that momentum and pulled it in a little bit because I knew I had to to survive and get through to lunch.
“It was in the back of my mind whether I should celebrate or not, but I know what Hughesy’s like and he’d always say to keep jumping and keep doing what I do. I dedicate the hundred to him, and Michael said he’d be proud of us both out there, and try and get on and win the game. But it was a little moment out there, and hopefully Michael can come back out and get his next 40.”
Warner added that he was not looking forward to the fourth Test since it will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which was the venue where Hughes suffered his fatal injury.
“For me personally I think the hardest things going to be the New Year’s Day Test,” Warner said. “I think walking out on the SCG where it all unfolded and happened is going to be the toughest task for me and probably the other guys who were there as well. But the next four days we’ve got to keep working hard to take 20 wickets. It’s going to be a hard task, but the bowlers know what we’ve got to do here.
“It was a bit disappointing at the end to lose a couple of wickets. I felt I should have gone on and I think the demons inside me got me out. I tried to take him [Karn Sharma] over the top and I hadn’t done so all day. So I think the heat might have got to me or mentally I was fatigued a little bit. If I was out there still now we’d be in a great position.”