India vs Australia, 4th Test: Back to the ground of loss

  • Sai Prasad Mohapatra, Hindustan Times, Sydney
  • Updated: Jan 04, 2015 05:28 IST

On Saturday, the Sydney Cricket Ground witnessed a bit of hustle and high-fives of a different nature. After a protracted period of silence since November 27, the day Phillip Hughes passed away, barring a couple of Sheffield Shield and Big Bash matches, the historic ground remained overridden by a gut wrenching picture of Hughes falling to the ground and not getting up again.

Come Tuesday, two very endearing lives will be lived through the fourth Test of the series Sydney - Hughes and Jane McGrath's.

A plaque for Hughes

The Members' Pavilion will have a plaque of Hughes above the door for a place of permanency. The players walking through it would inevitably have a brush with his memories.

On Saturday, Brad Haddin, David Warner, Shane Watson and Nathan Lyon - who were all privy to Hughes' tragedy - wore a smile, pink baggy caps and jerseys with pink crest saying India-Australia Test Series 2014-15 and an overriding sense optimism of coming to terms with life without Hughes.

"It's the first time I've been back here since just before Phil's funeral. Coming back to the ground was something I wasn't really looking forward to. But in the end, enough time has passed to be able to find my own personal way to be able to deal with what happened to Phil. I'm sure once I get out into the middle those visions will be coming back," said Shane Watson.

"Melbourne was the first time. After getting through especially the short ball challenge I started to feel more comfortable again. For the first couple of matches, it was always in the back of my mind. "Obviously because of what I saw and I was trying to go through it and revisit what happened that day out here. Melbourne was the first time I really started to feel the confidence grew back in me. I once again trusted my instincts and was confident that I was good enough to play the short ball well," Watson said.

A light moment

Warner shared a light moment with the camera persons and playfully mocked a celebrity habit by trying to avoid the flashing cameras. But beneath the happy look and two cracking centuries already in the series, was an honest account of his emotional turmoil within. He let it known well in advance that Sydney would be the toughest match for him to endure.

The team is yet to sit down and talk about how are they going to deal with those recurring moments especially those four and their battle against their own subconscious mind to stop it from picturing a not-so-memorable event.

In another part of the ground, skipper Steve Smith and Glenn McGrath exchanged high fives to flash bulbs setting off what is now called the Pink Test in remembrance of Jane and spread awareness for breast cancer - a ritualistic practice that has become the part of Australia's cricket calendar. All of SCG will wear pink come Tuesday.

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