Young Team India opener Shubman Gill struck his second Test hundred as the hosts reached 289/3 at stumps on Day 3 of the Ahmedabad against Australia on Saturday, March 11.
Gill, who was brought into the playing XI to replace KL Rahul in the previous Test in Indore, vindicated the management’s decision to retain him for the fourth Test. He played a high-quality knock to ensure India stayed in the hunt in the final Test of the series.
Responding to Australia’s first-innings total of 480, India resumed Day 3 at the Narendra Modi Stadium at 36/0. Gill anchored the Indian innings with 128 off 235 balls, a sublime knock featuring 12 fours and a six. Senior batters Virat Kohli (59*), Cheteshwar Pujara (42), and Rohit Sharma (35) also chipped in with valuable supporting acts.
Rohit and Gill looked in little trouble in the opening session on Day 3. While the latter struck Mitchell Starc for two fours early in the day, the Indian captain whacked the left-arm seamer for a four and a six in his next over.
Rohit was looking set for a big one when he fell in soft fashion, chipping Matthew Kuhnemann straight to short extra cover.
At the other end, Gill reached his fifty with an elegant cover drive off Starc. The opener and Pujara exercised control and took India to lunch at 129/1.
The duo continued their impressive work in the second session, adding 113 runs for the second wicket. With the pitch continuing to be a good one for batting, the Indian pair went about their task of scoring runs in their standard manner.
Gill brought up an excellent hundred in style, flipping a tossed-up delivery from Todd Murphy over short fine leg for four. The off-spinner, however, dismissed Pujara in the same over.
Murphy beat the Indian batter’s defensive stroke from round the wicket and trapped him lbw. A wicket just before tea on Day 3 gave Australia’s hopes a much-needed boost.
Kohli guides India after Gill’s exit
After Pujara’s departure, Gill and Kohli featured in a third-wicket partnership of 58. After a watchful start, Kohli got into rhythm by caressing Starc for two fours in an over.
Gill’s fantastic knock came to an end when he fell leg before to Nathan Lyon. The tired batter attempted to work a delivery on the on-side, but missed the ball and was hit in front of the stumps.
Kohli carried out the good work after Gill’s departure. Looking assured during his stay out in the middle, he reached his first half-century in 16 Test innings, tucking Lyon behind square for a couple.
Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja (16* off 54) took India to stumps without any further damage, adding 44 runs for the fourth wicket. Jadeja, who was content defending for the most part, charged down the track to loft Kuhnemann for a six over long on a few overs before stumps.
Despite dominating Day 3, India still trail Australia by 191 runs and will need to up the ante on Sunday to push for a result in the Test.