IND vs AUS 4th Test: Virat Kohli’s three-year wait for 28th Test century ends | Cricket News – Times of India

Once Australia had posted 480 in their first innings of the fourth and final Test, India required a strong reply from their batters. And after opener Shubman Gill ensured that with a classy century on Day 3, it was Virat Kohli on Day 4, as India’s old warhorse came to the party with his 28th Test hundred, ending India’s wait of three years and three months to see Kohli register another three-figure mark in Test cricket. The century will become even more special if India go on to win the match and as a result qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Overall, this is the 75th international century for Kohli.
Kohli was 59 not out when he came out 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 only 29 to his score in the session to be 88 not out.

It was uncharacteristic of Kohli, who usually approaches the game aggressively, but the master batter had gauged the situation after losing Ravindra Jadeja (28) early on the fourth morning, and the news on Shreyas Iyer was that he was taken for scans to get his back pain diagnosed.
Wicketkeeper KS Bharat came out to join Kohli in India’s pursuit of taking a lead, and he got busy right from the start to reach 25 not out.
But India, 362/4 at lunch on Sunday, were still behind by 118 runs.
Stand-in skipper Steve Smith’s tactics dried up the boundaries for India and made run-making difficult, which meant that the Virat-Bharat duo had to buckle down and bide their time. But it was a tricky situation for them as India needed to up the scoring rate to go into the lead quickly besides preserving wickets, with just a day left in the match after Sunday.

The urgency showed in Bharat’s changed approach soon after the lunch break, as he hit Cameron Green for two consecutive sixes, followed by a four off a no-ball in the same over, to swing the momentum in India’s favour. The over produced 21 runs, the most expensive of the series.
Kohli, meanwhile, dealt in singles to move into the 90s; but before he could get to his hundred, the former India captain lost partner Bharat, who was dismissed by Nathan Lyon for 44, caught by Peter Handscomb at short-leg. The fifth-wicket partnership produced 84 runs.
The injured Shreyas, however, still wasn’t available and left-hander Axar Patel came out to join Kohli in the middle.
Kohli’s patient Test century finally arrived off the 241st ball he faced. A wristy drive to deep mid-wicket off Lyon for a single.

The fact that those 241 balls Kohli faced included just five sent past the boundary ropes for fours reflects the picture of focus and determination that Kohli painted during this special knock.
And this one will remain extra special for Kohli personally, as it took over three years since his 27th century in Test cricket.
This is also Kohli’s eighth hundred in Tests against Australia. Sachin Tendulkar (11) has scored the most Test centuries by an Indian against Australia, followed by Sunil Gavaskar, who is joined now by Kohli at 8 each.
The four-match series currently stands 2-1 in favour of India, who will retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy by virtue of being the current holders. But the hosts are desperate for a win, as only that will earn them a spot in the WTC final against Australia.


(AI image)

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