Australian cricketer captain Michael Clarke looks up during a 63 second applause in tribute to the late Phillip Hughes prior to play on day 1 of the first Test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide,
Australian cricketer captain Michael Clarke looks up during a 63 second applause in tribute to the late Phillip Hughes prior to play on day 1 of the first Test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide,

Emotional outpouring for Hughes as Test begins

"WE'RE ready to go. Everybody is excited to get out there and start some cricket."

Those were the words of Australia captain Michael Clarke, spoken with conviction, despite just last week farewelling his "little brother", Phillip Hughes, at an emotional funeral in his home town of Macksville.

"It's going to take a long time to get over it, but what's most important, and what I know my little buddy would want, is to get out here and play some good cricket," Clarke (pictured) said at the coin toss while speaking to Channel Nine.

The pre-game tributes to Hughes were highly emotional.

There was a video tribute from legendary caller Richie Benaud, after which fans and players all stood as one and applauded for 63 seconds.

Fans held up "63 not out" signs all around Adelaide Oval in respect to their adopted home-town hero.

The number 408 - Hughes was Australia's 408th Test player - also held a lot of significance.

It was written into the outfield grass and on the Australian players' shirts under the coat of arms.

Clarke, who has scored six hundreds and averages over 98 in Adelaide, was moved to tears during the pre-game tributes, with Hughes also made an honorary 13th man for this game.

But there was no doubting Clarke's willingness to win in memory of his great mate, who passed away at just 25.

"We really want to start the summer well here in this first Test match," he said.

"It's always nice to come to Adelaide but those statistics are irrelevant. I start on zero today."

The crowd stood as one once more - this time with some heartfelt cheers - when Clarke walked out to bat towards the end of the first session.


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