IND vs AUS 4th Test: Virat Kohli’s 28th Test century keeps India in the hunt for WTC final | Cricket News

Once Australia had posted 480 in their first innings of the fourth and final Test, India needed a strong response from their batters. And after the opener, Shubman Gill made sure with a chic century on day 3, it was Virat Kohli on day 4, as the old Indian war horse came to the party with his 28th test cent, which will become even more special if India goes on to win the match and thus qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Kohli was not 59 when he returned to resume his innings on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. By the time the players left the field for lunch, Kohli had added just 29 to his tally in the session to be 88 unstretched.
It was uncharacteristic of Kohli, who usually approaches the game aggressively, but the master batter had assessed the situation after losing Ravindra Jadeja (28) early on the fourth morning, and the news from Shreyas Iyer was that he had been taken in for scans to get his back pain diagnosed.
Wicketkeeper KS Bharat came on to join Kohli in India’s pursuit to take the lead and kept busy early on to reach 25* at lunch.
But India, 362/4 at lunch on Sunday, were still behind by 118 points.

Substitute skipper Steve Smith’s tactics dried up India’s borders and made the race difficult, forcing the Virat-Bharat duo to buckle up and bide their time. But it was a tricky situation for them as India needed to increase the goal rate to take an early lead in addition to preserving wickets, with only one matchday after Sunday.
The urgency showed in Bharat’s change of approach shortly after the lunch break, as he hit Cameron Green for two straight sixes, followed by a ballless four-on-one in the same over, to tip momentum for India. The most produced 21 races, the most expensive of the series.
Kohli, meanwhile, handed out singles to jump into the 90s; but before he could reach his cent, the former India captain lost partner Bharat, who was sent off by Nathan Lyon for 44, caught by Peter Handscomb at the short game. The fifth-wicket partnership produced 84 runs.
The injured Shreyas, however, were still unavailable and southpaw Axar Patel came out to join Kohli in the middle.
Kohli’s Test Century patient finally got to the 241st ball he faced. A Lyon deep mid-wicket whip for a single.
The fact that those 241 balls he faced only included five balls going over the boundary lines for four reflects the picture of determination Kohli painted on that special shot.
And it will remain very special for Kohli personally, as it has taken over three years to come from his 27th century in Test cricket. It is also his eighth in trials against Australia. Sachin Tendulkar (11) has scored the most try centuries by an Indian against Australia, followed by Sunil Gavaskar (8).
The four-game series is currently 2-1 in favor of India, who will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as current holders. But the hosts are desperate for a win, as only that will earn them a place in the WTC final against Australia.


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