David Warner out for 43 just before lunch on day one of World Test Championship

By Sports Desk June 07, 2023

David Warner fell just before lunch as Australia reached 73 for two on the opening day of the World Test Championship final against India.

Warner, who has announced his plans to retire in January, battled through a tricky new-ball spell at the Kia Oval and had started to find his groove as he moved to 43.

There were flashes of the left-hander at his domineering best, not least when he piled into Umesh Yadav with four boundaries in an over, but his hopes of making a significant score came to a timid end.

All-rounder Shardul Thakur, selected ahead of the world’s number one ranked bowler Ravichandran Ashwin as India opted against a second spinner, was the man to make the breakthrough.

There was a touch of good fortune as Thakur dug one in short and down the leg-side, with Warner getting in an awkward position on the pull and brushing a glove through to the wicketkeeper.

Srikar Bharat made good ground, hurling himself to his left and snapping up the catch, to draw a rousing ovation from a crowd dominated by Indian supporters.

They had the started the day in good voice, skipper Rohit Sharma winning the toss and throwing the new ball to Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.

The pace pair made life hard for the Australian openers, with Warner looking vulnerable as Shami worked him over from around the wicket. It was Usman Khawaja who was first to fall, banking a 10-ball duck and nicking Siraj to Bharat.

There was an early scare for new man Marnus Labuschagne, who dramatically dropped the bat in pain when Yadav rapped him on the left thumb with a sharp, lifting delivery.

England fans would be forgiven for having the Ashes on their minds as Labuschagne received treatment and popped a couple of painkillers, but he resumed his innings and even wore another blow to the hand to reach the interval on 26 not out.

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