India v Australia - 4th Test: Day 4
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Virat Kohli notched up his first Test century since November 2019 and converted it into a big one (186) as India dominated Day 4 of the Ahmedabad Test against Australia on Sunday, March 12.

The hosts began the day on 289/3, trailing the Aussies by 191 runs. They finished on 571, gaining a significant first-innings lead of 91. With Usman Khawaja having hurt himself while fielding, Australia opened their second innings with Matthew Kuhnemann and Travis Head. They went to stumps unscathed at 3/0 after six overs.

The day belonged to Kohli, who anchored the Indian innings, sharing crucial partnerships of 84 and 162 with KS Bharat (44) and Axar Patel (79), respectively.

His patient knock came off 364 balls and featured 15 fours. The 34-year-old resumed his innings on 59 and was in complete control of proceedings as the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium refused to misbehave.

India lost Ravindra Jadeja for 28 as he gifted his wicket to Todd Murphy. However, KS Bharat, who walked in at No. 6, ahead of an unfit Shreyas Iyer, proved to be a reliable ally for Kohli.

The duo added 84 runs for the fifth wicket to put India in a strong position. Bharat slog-swept Nathan Lyon for a maximum, even as Kohli was content rotating the strike. There wasn’t much drama as India eased to 362/4 by lunch.

Bharat showed more aggression early in the second session, slamming Cameron Green for consecutive sixes. The first was pulled over deep square leg and the second over fine leg. The defiant partnership ended when the keeper-batter was caught at short fine leg off Lyon.

Not long after Bharat’s dismissal, Kohli reached his first Test ton since November 2019, clipping Lyon for a single.

Overall, it was the 28th Test ton for the seasoned batter. His celebrations were subdued as he gently acknowledged the applause, kissed his chain and shared a hug with Axar.

Kohli-Axar stand takes India past 550

After Bharat’s departure, Kohli and Axar continued to defy Australia’s bowlers. The former opened up a bit after crossing three figures, helping himself to a couple of boundaries off the spinners.

Axar joined in by launching Murphy for a six in the long-off region. The left-hander carried on his great form and brought up his third half-century of the series, by which time Kohli had crossed 150.

Unfortunately, for Axar, he missed out on a well-deserved hundred yet again. Having clubbed Matthew Kuhnemann for three sixes, two of them coming in one over, he was knocked over by Mitchell Starc.

Ravichandran Ashwin (seven) perished to Lyon, looking for a big hit, while Umesh Yadav (0) was run out by a direct hit.

Kohli was the last man out (Shreyas was absent hurt) as he holed out to deep midwicket, looking for a big one against Murphy.

Apart from his teammates, the magnificent knock was rightly applauded by the Australian players as well as the Ahmedabad crowd.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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