The Return of ‘King Kohli’ | Cricket News

AHMEDABAD: The 28th Test hundred which has eluded Virat Kohli for over 1205 days, finally arrived on Sunday, ending a harrowing wait for India’s champion batsman. Kohli now has 75 international hundreds in all three formats, and his latest effort has given India the lead into the final day of the fourth round of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
The 34-year-old last scored a ton of red ball (136) in the pink ball test against Bangladesh in 2019 at Eden Gardens.
India, on the back of six 50-plus partnerships, ended their first innings 571 for 9 at Narendra Modi Stadium after Shreyas Iyer did not bat due to a recurrence of a lower back injury.


The visitors, after conceding a 91-run lead, were 3-for-no losses at the end of Day 4 – with Travis Head (3) and night watchman Matthew Kuhnemann (0), opening the bats in place of an injured Usman Khawaja, in the fold. This is followed by 88 runs on a wicket which still looks to be worth a thousand runs.
Kuhnemann had a lucky escape when wicketkeeper KS Bharat failed to catch a snick in the penultimate over of the day bowled by R Ashwin.
The other notable feature of the day was 79 runs scored by all-rounder Axar Patel. The left-hander added 162 runs for the sixth wicket under Kohli. He hit four huge sixes and five boundaries in his he innings which further enhanced his reputation as a quality batsman.


Watching Kohli was like watching a sane ascetic deprive himself of much-needed sustenance. Australian skipper Steve Smith did everything he could to stifle racing. His spinners—led by the indefatigable Nathan Lyon—kept bowling around the stump’s imaginary fifth line to invite fake shots.
Lyon (3-151) and his rookie partner Todd Murphy (3-113) bowled 110 overs together. The offie veteran single-handedly totaled 65 overs, the most he has ever bowled in an innings.
Kohli, however, seldom played against the turn in his 516 minutes at the wicket. The hundred of him, who was the second slowest ever, went off 241 deliveries and had just five hits to the fence. The self-imposed discipline lasted until he broke the triple-digit score in the 138th over of the innings.


His first confinement of the day – a direct trip from Mitchell Starc – arrived after facing 162 deliveries. As he neared a huge personal score, two consecutive boundaries on Cameron Green took him to 150.
Kohli was finally dismissed by Murphy for 186 after holed up deep as he attempted to extend the lead. The former India captain batted for 364 deliveries and hit 15 fours in his innings.
Murphy, incidentally, has fired Kohli four times this series.
Earlier, India retook to 289 for 3 but lost Ravindra Jadeja before lunch. Runs were hard to come by as the Australian bowlers stuck to the plan of filling one side of the pitch with seven fielders. Only 73 runs were added in the 32 overs.


Jadeja caught 84 balls to score 28 and finally lost her temper. He was ejected by Murphy as he attempted to eliminate Khawaja mid-game.
As the Sunday crowd expected Iyer to come out next, they were surprised when KS Bharat entered. The BCCI informed through a statement that Iyer’s back injury had flared up. It’s the same injury that had kept him out of three ODIs against New Zealand and the first Test against Australia in Nagpur.
“Shreyas Iyer complained of lower back pain after the third day of play. He went for scans and the BCCI medical team is monitoring him,” the BCCI update reads.
Bharat’s bat made the right noises as he bowled Lyon for a mid-wicket six over and then hooked Green for a pair of sixes in the 134th over of the innings. As he looked poised to reach his first Test fifty, the wicketkeeper’s batsman fell at the bat against Lyon for 44.


(AI Image)


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