Editor’s note: This is a developing report and will be updated throughout the day.
Shubman Gill struck a classy century while Virat Kohli is unbeaten at 59 in India’s first innings reply in the fourth Test against Australia on Saturday. India reached 289/3 at stumps, still trailing Australia’s 480 by 191 runs on day three.
Gill first lost Rohit Sharma in the opening session, and after a century stand, saw Cheteshwar Pujara depart just before tea. But he held his end and scored his second Test century and the first at home in the second session on day three.
The left-handed Khawaja and Cameron Green, who struck his maiden international century with 114, put on 208 runs for the fifth wicket before Australia’s innings ended late on day two.
India lead the four-match series 2-1 after Australia won the third Test. The hosts need a win to clinch the series and secure a berth in the World Test Championship final in June.
After Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma targeted Mitchell Starc for a couple of boundaries, the Indian skipper mishit an innocuous delivery from Matthew Kuhnemann straight to Marnus Labuschagne who gulped a catch at short cover. After navigating a tricky period of play, it was a soft dismissal that caused India to lose their first wicket in the innings.
Earlier, Australia’s Mitchell Starc bowled to plan with his short balls and a heavy leg-side field, but Rohit took on the challenge as he smashed the left-arm quick for a four and a six at long leg.
The openers started the day on 36-0 and kept attacking on a pitch that still looks good for batting.
Kuhnemann reaped the rewards from Nathan Lyon’s wily off-spin from the other end as the senior bowler varied his length and angle to keep the batsmen on their toes.
With Pujara playing the anchor role, Gill kept the runs flowing and reached his fifth Test half-century with a four.
Australia, led by Steve Smith in the absence of Pat Cummins, rotated their bowlers and Starc came back for a second spell in the morning session.
During the first session, Pujara crossed 2000 runs in Tests versus Australia. He became the fourth batter to do so, behind Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, and Rahul Dravid.
Most runs in men's Test for India vs AUS
India managed just 59 runs in the second session of play to trail Australia by 292 runs at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
Gill reached his ton with a fine sweep off Todd Murphy to take a bow as the raucous weekend crowd applauded, but lost his partner Cheteshwar Pujara, for 42, four balls later.
Murphy trapped Pujara lbw to end a 113-run second-wicket stand which prospered after skipper Rohit Sharma fell for 35 in the morning session.
Gill (103) and Virat Kohli (0) were batting at the break.
Australia’s stand-in-skipper Steve Smith rotated his bowlers, who remained disciplined in their line and length to test the batsmen’s patience for much of the hot afternoon.
Gill broke the shackles with two successive boundaries off Cameron Green to bring alive the crowd with delightful cover drives.
In a session where runs came at a trickle, Gill’s two fours off Cameron Green and his eventual landmark were the highlights.
Having scored 101 runs for the loss of the solitary wicket of Gill, India dominated in final session to end the day at 289/3. After Gill’s dismissal, Kohli who is unbeaten at 59, took charge along with the left-handed Ravindra Jadeja, on 16, to see off the day’s play. The duo has stitched a 44-run partnership alongside Ravindra Jadeja (16) and will hope India can carry the momentum on Day 4.
After a jittery start to his innings, Kohli brought up his first half-century in this series and the first since the 79 vs South Africa in Cape Town, January 2022. Australia delayed taking the second new ball, available to the fielding side after the 80th over, by 14 overs but India were able to survive the second new ball towards the end of day’s play.
With AFP inputs