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Michael Clarke battled pain to score his 28th Test hundred and seventh at the Adelaide Oval

Emotional century for Clarke

Steven Smith notches highest Test score on rain-affected day in Adelaide

Michael Clarke scored a century after being cleared to resume batting on day two of Australia’s first Test against India. The Australia captain retired hurt with a back injury during the afternoon session on day one in Adelaide, having compiled 60. But, after receiving injections to ease his pain, Clarke accompanied Steven Smith to the crease first up on Wednesday before going on to collect his 28th Test hundred. Clarke (128) and Smith (162 not out) put on 163 for the seventh wicket as Australia reached stumps on 517-7 on a day where only 31 overs were possible due to rain. Clarke, who had initially battled a hamstring strain to figure in this match, crunched his fourth ball of the morning, delivered by Mohammed Shami, for four and went on to secure a record seventh hundred at the Adelaide Oval. The 33-year-old grimaced his way to three figures, which he brought up by clipping a single off his pads off Varun Aaron’s seam, before he was caught out late on by Cheteshwar Pujara having struck 18 boundaries. Clarke’s hundred was his fourth in succession at the Adelaide Oval, dating back to his majestic 210 against India in January 2012, a period in which he also notched 230 against South Africa. Smith, meanwhile, was in sumptuous form as he posted his highest score in Test cricket, currently 24 more than his previous best of 138 not out against England at The Oval in 2013, after beginning the day on 72. New South Wales players Clarke and Smith kept their composure during a number of rain delays to back up the good work carried out by first-day centurion David Warner (145). Both batsmen raised their bats to the sky in muted celebrations when reaching their hundreds as a tribute to fallen team-mate Phillip Hughes, who died after being hit by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match in late November. Clarke holed out off the leg-spin of Karn Sharma in the closing stages of day two and after Mitchell Johnson came out to bat, the umpires took the players off for bad light. Sky Sports pundit and former Australia seamer Jason Gillespie: “[The injury] certainly affected Clarke’s running between the wickets but it was a great knock with clean and crisp timing of the ball and he used his feet quite well to score at a good rate. “Smith, meanwhile, showed what a good batsman he is with shots all around the ground against seam and spin and we saw some brutality as well as some improvisation. “We saw some life in the pitch when India were hitting the seam and grouping some good lines and lengths, so there is a bit there and I think Australia’s seam attack will utilise the pitch better when they bowl.”

Sky Sports

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