AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — With runs had to come by, a defiant Virat Kohli hung in to anchor India’s first innings on day four of the fourth test against Australia. At lunch, India was 362-4 with Kohli unbeaten on 88 runs and within sight of his 28th test century.
Srikar Bharat was 25 not out and the hosts still trailed by 118 runs. Starting from overnight 289-3, India found the going tough in the morning session on Sunday with only 34 runs coming in the first hour of play and the loss of Ravindra Jadeja, who was dismissed for 28 playing an uncharacteristic shot off Todd Murphy (2-64).
The off-spinner tempted Jadeja time and again, and the batsman finally relented, chipping straight to Usman Khawaja at mid-on. The manner of his dismissal belied the nature of Jadeja’s 84-ball stay at the crease, which included two fours and a six.
Shreyas Iyer didn’t come out to bat at number six, after he had reportedly complained of lower back pain at the end of day three. He went to a local hospital for scans and is being monitored by the Indian medical team.
Bharat took his spot at number six and faced 70 deliveries before lunch, hitting a four and a six. In doing so, he added 53 runs for the fifth wicket with Kohli. Their partnership was a slow burn, with Kohli contributing only four runs off 48 balls at one stage. He eventually did catch up to the scoring rate and finished the session 12 runs short of a first test hundred since November 2019.
While the capacity Sunday crowd in Ahmedabad was hoping for a 75th hundred from Kohli’s blade across all formats, they had to contend with his 50-run stand with Bharat in the morning session. On day one, Usman Khawaja scored his 14th test hundred. His 180 runs, accompanied by Cameron Green’s maiden test century (114) took Australia to 480 runs in its first innings on day two. Ravichandran Ashwin took 6-91.
On day three, Shubman Gill (128) scored his second test hundred to direct India’s first innings’ response on a sedate batting pitch. India has an unassailable 2-1 lead in this four-match series. It had won the first two tests in Nagpur and Delhi, while Australia won the third in Indore.