Skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with a gritty century on Day 3 of the opening Test against Australia, but fell, just before stumps as India ended the day at 369/5.
India dominated most of the sessions on Day 3 of the opening Test between India and Australia. In the morning Australia declared their 1st innings at their overnight score of 517/7. But Indian top order displayed superb batting skills while facing robust Australian bowling lineup. Though, India lost their opener, Shikhar Dhawan early on, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara subdued the Johnson & Co effect and played sensible cricket to add 81 runs for the second wicket.
And even when India lost these two, stand-in skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane proved their batting credentials. Later Rahane got out when he was looking all set to add another Test ton to his kitty, but Kohli went on to score his seventh Test hundred, on one of his favourite hunting grounds. But India lost their skipper just before the close of play as India reached to 369 for five at stumps. For the home team Johnson and Lyon picked two wickets apiece. India are still trailing by 148 runs but the match is evenly poised.
Here is a timeline on how India responded to Australia’s 1st innings total on day three:
1. Shikhar Dhawan falls early: Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan looked in sublime touch until he dragged Ryan Harris’s delivery onto his stumps. Dhawan, who scored 25, was first wicket to fell for India on the score of 30.
2. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara take control: After Dhawan’s dismissal, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara showed resistance and notched up an 81-run stand for the second wicket. During the partnership Vijay got to his seventh Test fifty, but soon Johnson had him caught behind.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli build on: India’s mainstay batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, who had horrid England tour, together added valuable 81 runs for the third wicket and looked in good nick. Pujara, who registered his sixth Test fifty, was then bowled off Nathan Lyon on an individual score of 73.
4. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s century stand: Except for the first wicket there were notable partnerships that saw India dominate the day’s proceedings. Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane put up a brave show as the duo added 101 runs for the fourth wicket. Both with the intent notched their respective half-centuries and batted India to safety. The two were separated when Lyon’s good length delivery bounced and kissed Rahane’s gloves, who was looking to block, and went to Watson in the slip. At Rahane’s departure India were 293 for 4.
5. Virat Kohli falls late in the day: Virat Kohli led India’s charge as he became the third Indian captain after Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar to score a hundred on captaincy debut. Kohli was hit by Johnson’s bouncer early on but he never looked back after that to notch his seventh Test ton. Kohli, who was dismissed on 115 just before the close of play, added 74 for the fifth wicket with Rohit Sharma. When play on day three was called off Rohit was batting on 33 along with Wriddhiman Saha, who survived some vicious moments on 1.