Ahmedabad, March 12 (IANS) Talismanic batter Virat Kohli showed impeccable grit, discipline and concentration to make a magnificent 186 as India took a 91-run lead over Australia after being bowled out for 571 in their first innings during the fourth Test at Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
If Shubman Gill was the talk of the town with his sparkling 128 on Saturday, it was Kohli’s turn to be in the spotlight to break a drought of Test century which lasted 1025 days through his 364-ball stay at the crease, hitting 15 boundaries.
He was also supported by a nice 44 from KS Bharat and an excellent 79 from Axar Patel. For Australia, Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy took three wickets each while Mitchell Starc and Matthew Kuhnemann took a scalp each.
After 3.3 overs into the start of final session, Axar got India in the lead by cutting Todd Murphy through backward point for four. When Cameron Green was brought back in the attack, Kohli was quick to unfurl a cover-drive to an outside off-stump delivery.
On the very next ball, which was angled into pads, Kohli shuffled across to flick through mid-wicket and go past 150. When Green bowled a high full toss, Kohli got a thick edge past keeper for four, before taking a brace of boundaries off Lyon – a delightful pull was followed by a drive through mid-off.
Axar reached his fifty in 95 balls with a single off Murphy and then attacked Matthew Kuhnemann with a big swipe over mid-wicket for six. He then moved across to sweep Murphy through mid-wicket for four, before slog-sweeping twice off Kuhnemann for sixes.
Axar’s knock came to an end when he tried to drive off Mitchell Starc, but chopped on to his stumps. Lyon got his third wicket of the match when he had Ravichandran Ashwin slog-sweeping to deep mid-wicket. In the next over, Umesh Yadav was caught short of the crease at the non-striker’s end by a direct hit from Peter Handscomb.
Kohli was dropped at 185 when Handscomb tried to take the catch with both hands while diving, but shelled the chance. In the next over, Murphy bowled outside off-stump and Kohli went for the slog-sweep, but holed out to deep mid-wicket, bringing an end to India’s innings as Iyer was unavailable to bat due to lower back pain which needed scans.
Brief Scores: Australia 480 in 167.2 overs trail India 571 in 178.5 overs (Virat Kohli 186, Shubman Gill 128; Todd Murphy 3/113, Nathan Lyon 3/151) by 91 runs