Kohli ton helps India

2014-12-11 09:58
Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)

Adelaide - Captain Virat Kohli scored a rousing century after being struck on the head with a bouncer to guide India past the follow-on mark on day three of the first Test against Australia in Adelaide on Thursday.

Standing in for injured regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kohli's 115 helped push the tourists within 148 runs of Australia's first innings total of 517-7, with the hosts declaring before the start of play at Adelaide Oval.

Paceman Mitchell Johnson struck Kohli on the helmet first ball and ended up dismissing him late in the day when the batsman miscued a pull shot to deep fine leg where Ryan Harris charged in to take a fine, low catch.

Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (one not out) rode out a tense few overs to stumps, with middle order batsman Rohit Sharma on 33.

Spinner Nathan Lyon bowled well and removed Ajinkya Rahane for 62 in the last session for his second wicket of the day, but it was otherwise tough going for the bowlers on a benign wicket.

All of India's top order batsmen made positive starts on a day of bright sunshine but only 26-year-old Kohli really cashed in.

Kohli was hit first ball by a searing bouncer from Johnson which struck him flush on the badge of his helmet, but he responded by spanking the paceman to all corners of the ground in the final session before eventually holing out.

With the death of Phillip Hughes from a bouncer still fresh in all minds, the Australians rushed to the batsman out of concern and Clarke consoled Johnson as he walked back to his mark visibly distressed.

Kohli brought up his ton with a well-struck four steered through midwicket and after ripping off his helmet, yelled "Come on!" at the India team box, eyes blazing.

Lyon broke a 101-run partnership between Kohli and Rahane with an unplayable ball that reared out of a rough patch and pinged off the middle order batsman's glove to fall to Shane Watson at slip.

Lyon also ended an 81-run stand between Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara after a sustained period of pressure with a ball that dribbled through the number three's legs and onto the stumps.

Left-armer Johnson was punished for some wayward bowling but teased a nick from opener Murali Vijay into the slips to have him out for 53.

Seamer Ryan Harris, back in the side after a long recovery following knee surgery, bowled opener Shikhar Dhawan who had raced to 25 before edging a probing delivery onto the stumps.

Australia captain Michael Clarke took to the field after battling through back pain to score his courageous 128 on day two, but was clearly restricted in his movement and sluggish to chase down balls.

Read more on:    virat kohli  |  cricket

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