Virat Kohli ton lights up India’s day at Adelaide
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli hit his maiden Test century on Day 3 of the fourth Test against Australia at Adelaide. India collapsed to 272 all out in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 604/7d. Australia chose not to enforce the follow on and were 50/3 at Stumps on Day 3, leading India by 382 runs in their second innings.
Resuming play on 62/2 in the morning and determined not to lose a wicket early in the day, India made a slow start. Only 17 runs came in the day’s first 10 overs after which India lost Tendulkar, caught at second slip by Ponting off Siddle for 21 runs. Gambhir followed two overs later in the same manner that he has often done in the series, fending off a short ball from Siddle that hurried on to him towards gully where Michael Hussey leapt to pluck a great catch. Gambhir was gone for 34, adding just 4 runs to his overnight tally of 30 in 12 overs, India were 87/4.
VVS Laxman looked comfortable and settled before he was undone by a sharp turning delivery from Nathan Lyon. He was caught behind trying to run one fine past the keeper, going for 18 as India were reduced to 111/5.
Virat Kohli and Wriddhiman Saha came together at the crease, taking India to lunch at 122/5.
The two youngsters produced a calm 103 run partnership for the sixth wicket, applying themselves with an assurance that the seasoned heavyweights of the team have failed to show in the series so far. They focused on rotating the strike, Kohli going for the shots.
Saha often found himself troubled by the pace and unerring accuracy of Hilfenhaus and Harris but the wicketkeeper batsman from Bengal was dogged, batting out the pacers to score off Lyon. Kohli’s 50 came early after Tea and the busy partnership saw him reach 91 when Saha was dismissed. The batsman fatally misjudged a Harris delivery and left it only to see it nip back and hit his offstump, sending India to Tea at 225/6.
R Ashwin, LBW, and Zaheer Khan, playing a dismal shot were dismissed off consecutive deliveries by Peter Siddle soon after Tea with Kohli still on 91*, Siddle taking his first fiver against India. The batsman then farmed the strike with Ishant Sharma, moving quickly to his maiden ton and India’s first on this tour off 199 balls.
The two Delhi batsmen also faced a verbal barrage but held their own well, Kohli attacking the bowling in splendid fashion after reaching his ton. The duo added 33 quick runs before Ishant Sharma was bowled by Hilfenhaus for 16.
Kohli followed soon, adjudged LBW by Aleem Dar on 116 to a fulltoss that seemed to be going down leg as India folded for 272, 332 runs behind Australia’s total.
Michael Clarke chose not to enforce the follow on and the Australian openers walked out to dent India’s hopes further in the remaining overs.
Sehwag brought Ashwin to open the bowling with Zaheer Khan and the ploy worked as the off spinner caught Warner off his own bowling. Zaheer Khan had the woefully out of form Shaun Marsh LBW in the next over for a duck. Ashwin caught Ed Cowan plumb LBW in the over after that as Australia slid from 39/0 to 40/3 in three overs.
Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting came together once again to see Australia through to Stumps at 50/3 with a lead of 382. The duo have already posted partnerships of 288 and 386 against India in this series, they will look to add to that list tomorrow.