OPINION: Hughes' death will distract or galvanise Aussies

IT'S not really the official start of summer until the first ball is bowled in the first cricket Test.

That starts today at Adelaide Oval following the death and funeral of Test opener Phil Hughes.

How the Aussies will emerge after such a tumultuous period is uncertain.

It will either be playing on their minds and acting as a distraction in the Test against India, or perhaps galvanise them into a common sense of purpose that they are doing it for Phil.

It's certainly something that has deeply affected most, if not all of the Australian team, to varying degrees.

In a fairly candid admission Shane Watson has described Hughes' death and the prospect of padding up against India as: "the most mentally challenging couple of days I have had to go through in my career".

It will also be fascinating to see how India approaches the Adelaide Test and whether they will confront the Aussies and their demons by tossing up some short-pitched deliveries.

India has one of the fastest bowlers trotting around in world cricket at the moment in Umesh Yadav.

Yadav consistently bowls above the 140kmh mark.

What may save the Aussies is the Adelaide pitch, a traditionally fairly flat track and it is not easy for a fast bowler to intimidate batsmen as it is in Brisbane or Perth.

The death of Hughes has been a global phenomenon because it was the result of a freakish accident.

And now all eyes will be on Adelaide Oval today as that fast bowler marks his crease at the top of his run and proceeds into bowl that first delivery.


Topics:  editors picks phillip hughes test cricket

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