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Adelaide celebrates life of Hughes, Australia's '13th man'

Source: PTI
December 09, 2014 08:30 IST
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Tributes to the late Phillip Hughes are seen during day one of the first Test in Adelaide. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

In the minds of the cricket lovers, Phillip Hughes will remain '63 Not Out Forever' but on Tuesday the departed cricketer was named his national team's '13th man' as the first Test between India and Australia started in Adelaide on an emotional note.

As Australia named their playing eleven for the match, pacer Josh Hazlewood was listed as the 12th man and the players wanted to include Hughes' name as the 13th man in the list.

- Scorecard: Australia vs India, first Test

Hughes passed away nearly two weeks back after he was hit by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a Sheffield Shield game. An entire nation went into mourning following his shocking demise.

As the on-field action commenced at the Adelaide Oval, it was all about celebrating the life of the ever-smiling Hughes with everyone present at the venue applauding in unison for exactly 63 seconds.

Incidentally, Hughes was batting on 63 when he was struck by Abbott's bouncer.

Australia captain Michael Clarke wipes away tears during the tribute to Phil Hughes. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

As a mark of respect, both teams wore black arm-bands. The entire Australian side had 408 inscribed on their white jerseys. The number is significant as Hughes was the 408th cricketer to play in Tests for Australia.

"It's really special. His family, I think that would make them very proud," Mitchell Johnson was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

"I'm very proud to be able to wear that number through this Test. We've named him as the 13th man as well. It's all very special."

The bats and caps of the Australian cricket team are left by the field in a tribute to the Phil Hughes. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Rival captains Virat Kohli and Michael Clarke also remembered him during the toss.

"What's most important and what I know my little buddy would want is going out and playing cricket," Clarke said at the toss.

Kohli remembered how he had become friends with Hughes during Australia's last ODI tour of India.

"I knew Phil. He was one of the guys, I spoke to more than most. He asked for my bat in during the home series we played last and I wish I had given it to him," Kohli said.

Players stand for 63 seconds of applause in memory of Phil Hughes. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Johnson, on his part, admitted that it would be a bit difficult to bowl the first spell after a turbulent week but he expects things to eventually fall into place.

"It's going to be an emotional morning and probably looking at it from our first little part of the game, for me going out there and bowling the first spell might be the most difficult," the speedster added.

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