As Virat Kohli reached his 28th Test century and concluded with 186 runs to give India a 91-run first innings lead over Australia in Ahmedabad, he ended a century drought in Test cricket that had lasted more than three years.
In 241 balls, Kohli built up a century, and he served as the focal point for the Indian innings. When India attempted to extend its lead during his innings, Kohli also collapsed holing out to deep midwicket as he ran out of partners who were close to scoring a double hundred.
Prior to it, though, Kohli was at his tenacious best, seeing the day almost all through and leading India through a variety of partnerships, with each of the top six producing fifty or more runs or more for India.
Although Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli added 64 runs together in the first session, only 73 runs were scored for the loss of one wicket. It also provided evidence of how the pitch had been operating accurately for the majority of the game up until that point. On the fourth morning, though, the spinners had much more to choose from thanks to the challenging areas.
Jadeja was initially restrained because the offspinner's angle from around the wicket was problematic, especially the straighter ones. But he was able to withstand those for a while before growing impatient with Todd Murphy. He tried to smash out against Murphy three times in one over, managing a boundary and a mishit before holing out to mid on to conclude his stay at 28 from 84 balls.
At the other end, Kohli persisted in accumulating runs and lowered his head even more when KS Bharat was brought in after Shreyas Iyer had to be sent for scans after complaining of lower back soreness.
After the keeper had slogswept Lyon for a six, Kohli and Bharat put together a second watchful stand that saw them both wait. Before they were able to rotate strike a little more freely, the pair waited for pace to kick in. But in the third session, the runs started coming, and Bharat pulled Cameron Green for sixes in a row before cutting him for a four. The duo also contributed to an 84-run stand that reduced the deficit with that 21-run over.
Kohli raised his ton with a pivot the corner through midwicket and arrived at a milestone he hadn't got to since November 2019.
Bharat, six short of a Test fifty for the first time, was bowled out by Lyon, who caught him at short leg.
However, Australia's relief was fleeting. Axar Patel joined Kohli now, and he answered India's call for quick runs as they took the lead. Axar helped Kohli, who also picked up the pace, with five fours and four sixes. In just 216 balls, the duo scored 162 runs to propel India to a comfortable position. But Axar's dismissal because he dragged Starc along caused a quick collapse.
R Ashwin fell while attempting to slog sweep Lyon, and Umesh Yadav was run out on the second run for being slow. As a result, Kohli had only one partner, Iyer remained unavailable, and he failed to score the big hit.
Australia had a challenging six-over period to win, and they were without Usman Khawaja, their first-innings century batsman, who had been taken off the field after fracturing his knee. Matthew Kuhnemann, a nightwatchman, was dropped off at Ashwin by KS Bharat, but he made it to the final day.
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Smith praises teammates and support staff after Australia secures a spot in the WTC final