Coverage of the first ODI between Australia and India on Fox Cricket channel 501.
Aaron Finch saluted the heavens on Friday as he dusted off the cobwebs and made his 17th ODI century on the anniversary of Phillip Hughes’ death.
Hughes died six years ago on Friday after being struck by a bouncer while at the crease of the SCG, where the first ODI between Australia and India is being played.
Finch – who was a pallbearer at Hughes’ funeral – carried the memories of his close friend all the way to an emotional milestone.
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The Australian captain won the first toss of the summer and elected to bat first against India, looking to take advantage of the perfect conditions.
He laboured in the early stages of his innings and survived multiple close calls; twice for lbw, once for caught behind and once when he was almost runout.
For long periods the runs didn’t flow – perhaps an unsurprising consequence of the lack of cricket in 2020. At one point, Finch had given up 47 dot balls from the first 79 he faced.
Once he reached his half century, and after 4.08pm passed with a tribute to Hughes, it was a slightly more typical display of the Australian opener.
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Play halted to pay lovely tribute to Phillip Hughes on anniversary
Finch began to attack leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal with success and remained steadfast in his approach despite losing opening partner David Warner for 69.
In the nineties, he shifted into more of a support role to Steve Smith who held most of the strike as Finch patiently nudged the singles.
It was a controlled approach and one that saw him reach three figures in the 39th over. He took off his helmet, kissed the badge and raised it to the sky.
The century is Finch’s fourth in ODI cricket against India, but his first since he reached three figures against the same nation 10 matches ago.