David Warner set for emotional return to SCG
Sydney, Jan 4 - Australian opener David Warner has prepared himself to play through the pain after being hit a couple of times in previous Tests but, on Sunday, admitted he has no inkling as to the scale and scope of the emotional turmoil that awaits him when the fourth Test against India gets underway on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Warner continues to feel pain in his left thumb and right forearm following a couple of stinging blows during the past two Tests.
The opening batsman, who was fielding close to Phillip Hughes and then held his hand as he was carried from the SCG in a critical condition on a medicab, said he won't know how he will react to his return to the centre until he walks out onto the field for the pre-match anthems.
The only certainty is that Hughes, who played his final innings at the ground that was his home in the early years of his prematurely curtailed career, will be in the thoughts of every Australian player, not just those who were on the field that tragic day.
The brass plaque that will be installed on Monday by the SCG Trust on the brickwork at the top of the stairs that lead to the home team's dressing room will feature a small bust of Hughes, which means the Australians will see his face each time they take and leave the field.
Stronger memories will be stirred when players take to the pitch with the Test wicket prepared on the strip adjoining the pitch where Hughes was batting when struck.
With the point at which he fell now distinguished by repairs made to the turf since the incident on November 25, a bat-pad fielder in place for right-handers at the Randwick End will find themselves on the very spot where the Australian batsman fell.
"I know when I go to face up at that Randwick End I'm going to be looking down at that spot," Warner was quoted saying by Cricket Australia (CA) website on Sunday.
"Every time he (Hughes) came here, whether it was (Sheffield) Shield or playing for Australia he absolutely loved playing here.
"It's going to be tough but I've got to try and hold back the emotions and do what I do for the team and try and score runs.
"But every time I come here, every time I walk out on the field, every time I've got nothing on my mind I'm going to be thinking about it."