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Kohli ends Test ton drought with 186 as India dominate AustraliaMEERI News

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Virat Kohli scored his first Test century in more than three years with a towering 186 as India fought back from the danger of a series defeat by Australia in the fourth Test on Sunday.

The hosts finished their first innings on 571 to overhaul Australia’s 480 and take a 91-run first-innings lead on another run-packed fourth day at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

Kohli was the last man out after falling to Todd Murphy in the final session of play as India lost their ninth wicket with Shreyas Iyer not batting due to back pain.

Australia reached three for no loss at stumps and Travis Head was in the running as he was alongside nightwatchman Matthew Kuhneman.

The left-handed Kuneman made a surprise entry at the crease after opener Usman Khawaja, who hit 180 in the Australian innings, did not come out to bat after being injured on the field.

Kohli led the day with his 28th Test ton after getting a single off spinner Nathan Lyon in the second session to bring the house down as the fans went wild in celebration.

Kohli, who now has 75 international tons in three international formats, kissed his medallion before looking up at the sky.

Moving on to 59 after reaching his first Test half-century on Saturday since January 2022, the landmark came after a patient 241-ball innings.

Kohli then hit a run of fours after reaching his hundred and along with striker Axar Patel, who scored 79, put on a marathon stand of 162 for the sixth wicket.

Khawaja tried to catch an ‘Axar six’ on the boundary but could not stay in the rope, injuring his foot and limping off the field.

Kohli crossed 150 after tea and Axar brought up his third half-century of the series to wear down the opposition bowlers on a pitch very different from the turners in the previous three matches.

Spinners Lyon and Murphy took 110.5 overs between them to claim three wickets each on another day of heavy grinding for the bowlers.

Axar went into fifth gear after his fifty as he hit and smashed Kuhneman for two sixes in the wake before being bowled on the inside edge by Mitchell Starc.

Kohli lost his overnight partner Ravindra Jadeja for 28 in the morning session and Srikar Bharat fell in the afternoon after the keeper-batsman hit 44 in an 84-run partnership with the former skipper.

Iyer did not come out to bat after going for a scan after complaining of lower back pain after the end of the third day.

Opener Shubman Gill led India’s strong reply on Saturday with his 128 before falling to Lyon, who returned with figures of 3-151 from 65 overs.

India need a win to wrap up the series and be assured of a place in the World Test Cup finals in June.

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