Virat Kohli and KS Bharat brought up half-century of their partnership in a slow session of Test cricket as India reached 362/4 at lunch and still trail Australia by 118 runs on day four of the fourth Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 Test, here at Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday, 12 March.
On a slow, flat pitch, India made a total of 73 runs in 32 overs, with Kohli and Bharat unbeaten on 88 and 25 respectively, while losing the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja. It was a session where runs came at a slow pace, thanks to some disciplined bowling from Australia.
Kohli, at his focused best, added only 29 runs to his overnight score, but is now in touching distance of a highly-awaited 28th Test century, with his last Test hundred coming against Bangladesh in November 2019 at Kolkata.
The session began with Jadeja cutting Todd Murphy uppishly against past slip for four. After taking another four through mid-off against Murphy, Jadeja mistimed to mid-on, but it went for a single.
But when he tried to repeat the shot in the final ball of the 107th over, which came a little quicker, Jadeja lofted straight into mid-on's hands off Murphy, ending a knock where he was patient for a major chunk of it.
With Shreyas Iyer sent for scans after complaining of lower back pain, KS Bharat came out to bat and got going with a superb slog-sweep going for six off Nathan Lyon.
Kohli, Bharat Nullify Aussies’ Spin Threat
There was some turn available for Lyon, Murphy and Matthew Kuhnemann, as Australia operated with a 7-2 leg-side field, and spinners bowling tidy spells, like operating on off and outside off-stump lines, to dry up runs for Kohli and Bharat.
But whenever there was a bad ball, it was hit for a boundary. Like, Bharat cracked a cut-off backfoot when Nathan Lyon dropped short. Post lunch, eyes will be on Kohli getting an elusive Test century, with a draw looming as a possible result of the match.
Brief scores: Australia 480 lead India 362/4 in 131 overs (Shubman Gill 128, Virat Kohli 88 not out; Todd Murphy 2-64, Matthew Kuhnemann 1-57) by 118 runs