An exemplary display of composure and poise by Virat Kohli helped India secure a 91-run first innings lead in the fourth Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 Test. At the end of Day 4 here in Ahmedabad, Australia are 3/0, following the hosts’ accumulation of 571 runs in response to their 480.
Resuming at 293/3, the hosts had an early setback as Ravindra Jadeja was sent back to the pavilion by Todd Murphy in only the seventh over of the day’s play. A lower back issue for Shreyas Iyer meant that wicketkeeper-batter, KS Bharat had to be promoted up the other, and he utilised the chance like a quintessential opportunist.
Having initially started off sluggishly, Bharat added 44 runs to his team’s tally from 88 deliveries, before losing his wicket to Nathan Lyon. All eyes, however, were focused on the other end of the crease, where Kohli was then batting on 98.
A synchronised eruption of the Narendra Modi Stadium crowd took place only a couple of overs later, as with an elegant flick, the former Indian skipper breached the three-figure barrier, thereby ending his century drought in Test cricket.
This was Kohli’s 28th Test century, which now sees him tied with Australia’s Michael Clarke and South Africa’s Hashim Amla, and touching distance away from the elite club of 14 players who have scored 30 or more tons in the longest format of the game.
More importantly, however, this also was Kohli’s first century in this format since in the pink ball Test against Bangladesh, which took place way back in November 2019, at Eden Gardens. With this being his 75th ton in international cricket across all formats, Kohli is now 25 centuries away from reaching Sachin Tendulkar’s milestone of 100 centuries.
Australia End the Day on a High
As the 34-year-old tiptoed towards his 150, Axar Patel played the knock of his life, accumulating 79 runs from only 113 deliveries in a pyrotechnics exhibition that features five boundaries and four sixes. His dismissal, however, proved to be the concluding act of India’s batting dominance.
The last four wickets fell in just 16 runs, with Kohli being the last batter to be dismissed, agonizingly missing out on a double century by merely 14 runs. The Australian batters were then asked to see the day out, which they did quite cautiously and comfortably, by scoring three runs from six overs. Nightwatch Matthew Kuhnemann is yet to open his account, as all of those runs came from Travis Head’s willow.