Virat Kohli has delivered when his team needed him the most. The Indian captain scored his 7th test hundred and set a strong foundation for the middle order batsmen. Australia too enjoyed some success as they managed to pick up the valuable wickets of Murli Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who scored well-compiled fifties. Kohli also departed at 115 in the closing stages of play as India ended day 3 at 369/5 in reply to Australia’s overnight declaration of 517/7.
Dhawan Wastes Another Start, Vijay And Pujara Build On:
The left-right duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay walked into the middle. After negotiating a few tight overs by Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris, Dhawan freed his arms a little and started playing some exquisite shots. Vijay was playing second fiddle as he was rotating the strike. The aggressive left hander from Delhi scored 25 off just 24 balls before he was cleaned up by Ryan Harris.
Pujara joined Vijay and started steering the innings cautiously. Both batsmen were solid at the crease as the wicket became tougher to bowl on. Vijay went on to score his first fifty on Australian soil. Clarke brought Johnson back into the attack and the lanky pacer came into effect right away.After pushing Vijay back with a few short ones, Johnson bowled a fuller length and Vijay, who was batting on 53, poked at it, edging it safely into Brad Haddin’s hands. India were at 119-2 at Lunch.
A Captain’s Knock By Virat Kohli; Rahane And Pujara Score Fifties
Kohli walked into the middle to negotiate the last over before lunch and Mitchell Johnson greeted the skipper with a bouncer which crashed into his helmet. Kohli ducked to evade the bouncer but the ball did not rise much and hit him on the helmet. The Australian fielders, Johnson and Pujara, who was waiting at the non-striker end rushed towards the Indian skipper to check if he was alright. Kohli took off his helmet to show that he was unhurt and play resumed. Johnson got a bit emotional after bowling that ball and it took a word of consolation by Michael Clarke to get him going.
Kohli began slowly but gradually built his innings in partnership with Pujara, who seemed to have found his lost touch. The Indian #3 scored a patient half century and withstood the Australian bowling attack. The duo added 81 runs for the 3rd wicket before Pujara was clean-bowled by Lyon after scoring 73 runs of 135 balls.
Kohli upped his scoring rate and took his attack to the opposition. After the tea break, he and Ajinkya Rahane made the Australian fielders chase leather. The latter played an important cameo by scoring 62 off just 76 balls and added 101 runs for the 4th wicket with the Indian skipper. Rahane became a victim of the extra bounce that was being offered when Lyon came in to bowl. The ball hit his bat handle and Shane Watson took a simple catch at slip.
The falling wickets did not affect Kohli’s concentration and the Indian skipper notched up his hundred, a brilliant knock under pressure. He has proved his mettle yet again and has shown that he can bat in the toughest of conditions. Post the century, Kohli’s stay on the crease was short-lived as he mistimed a pull shot off Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris took a simple catch to end the Indian captain’s innings.
What To Expect From Day 4?
After stumps, India have successfully avoided the follow-on and are trailing by 148 runs. Rohit Sharma (33*) and Wriddhiman Saha (1*) are the two men on the crease. This is the last batting pair in the lineup and both the batsmen would look to bat as long as they can.