Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 3rd day January 26, 2012

Australia in control despite Kohli ton


Australia 7 for 604 dec and 3 for 50 (Clarke 9*, Ponting 1*) lead India 272 (Kohli 116, Siddle 5-49, Hilfenhaus 3-62) by 382 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It took until the third-last day of the series, but India finally found a Test centurion on this tour after Virat Kohli showed the fight that his colleagues have lacked. But on the national holiday of both India and Australia, there was more for the hosts to celebrate, as Peter Siddle finished with five wickets and Australia ended up with a lead of 382. By stumps, India still faced a major challenge to save the Adelaide Test and avoid a whitewash. If they do lose 4-0, it won't be Kohli's fault.

He was the last man out in India's innings as he chased quick late runs, and was lbw to Ben Hilfenhaus for 116. The Indians fell 133 short of the follow-on mark but Michael Clarke chose not to enforce it, preferring to give his bowlers a break and ensure India had the task of batting last on a pitch where that isn't always easy. By stumps, Australia were 3 for 50, but unless India could skittle the rest cheaply on the fourth morning, the wickets meant little to the match.

David Warner chipped a return catch to R Ashwin for 28 and Ed Cowan (10) was trapped lbw by Ashwin's arm ball, but it was the dismissal of Shaun Marsh sandwiched in between those strikes that the Australians least wanted to see. Marsh was lbw to Zaheer Khan for a duck, completing a series in which he has scored 0, 3, 0, 11, 3 and 0, and sealing his certain axing for the tour of the West Indies.

At the close, Michael Clarke was on 9 and Ricky Ponting had 1, and Australia were likely to aim to bat until about lunch on the fourth day before giving their bowlers the chance to attack India's batsmen again. To avoid defeat, India will need somebody else to stand up in that batting line-up besides Kohli, whose maiden Test hundred was the high point of a dismal tour for the batsmen.

Kohli did have support from Wriddhiman Saha between lunch and tea, and it appeared the two were going to steer India through a session without losing a wicket, something they haven't achieved in the series. That goal proved out of reach when Saha misjudged a leave in the final over before tea and lost his off stump on 35 as Ryan Harris nipped the ball back in.

After the break, Siddle (5 for 49) was quickly on a hat-trick when he had Ashwin lbw for 5 and then Zaheer nicked behind for a golden duck next delivery. Ishant Sharma survived the hat-trick ball and gave Kohli some support in scoring 16 before he missed a ball on off stump and was bowled by Hilfenhaus, who finished with 3 for 62.

Umesh Yadav finished not out without having to face a ball as Kohli picked up a few late boundaries with creative hitting over cover and down the ground, which followed some tense words exchanged between Kohli and some of the Australian fielders. It was a fine innings from Kohli, who brought up his maiden Test hundred with a two through the off side, initially caught up in the moment and celebrating after taking the first run before he realised a second was on offer.

He showed his senior colleagues how it was done on a surface not offering a great deal of assistance to the bowlers. In the second session India added 103 as Kohli and Saha both turned the strike over, Kohli especially going for his shots. He brought up his second half-century of the series with a boundary through midwicket off Hilfenhaus, and he was willing to go after the spin of Nathan Lyon and Michael Clarke, including with a slog-sweep for six off Lyon.

His fight was important for India after their miserable pre-lunch session, in which they lost three wickets. By the time Australia lost their fifth wicket they had 520 on the board; India had 111. In the first session of the day they lost Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman as the pressure from Australia's bowlers and fielders built up.

Gambhir and Tendulkar survived the initial morning period and took their partnership to 47 before the introduction of Siddle ended the stand and gave Australia a major boost on the national holiday of both countries. He drew an edge from Tendulkar (25) and the ball flew low to second slip, where Ponting did well to get his fingers under the ball to take the catch.

Siddle proved himself Clarke's go-to man when he also got rid of Gambhir for 34. Not for the first time in the series extra bounce troubled Gambhir, who fended a well-directed short ball that flew high into the off side and was snapped by Michael Hussey, who did well to run in from gully and take the catch diving forward.

It was a fine spell from Siddle, who entered the match with only one Test wicket for 241 runs at the Adelaide Oval. His strikes were followed by a wicket for Lyon, who turned the ball impressively and found an edge from VVS Laxman (18) when the batsman tried to run the ball fine. Brad Haddin completed the catch, and India's pain continued.

Kohli granted them some relief later in the day, but a mountain of work remained for them to save the match.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anukriti on January 27, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    the best thing was aussies words back to the aussies but in indian style by virat ..........but yes a wonderful ton by virat but there's no need of it................ because anything can't help india if they don't do well in the 1st innings bowling or fielding!!!

  • suhail on January 27, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    @puneriMisal- the players you are talking about are match winners and more apropiately four of them being called legends.these players have already performed at such a high instinct through out their carrer that they are worth for this spot.However,if u need to replace them you need to find the players of virat kohli's caliber, may be rohit sharma fits best.but similarly,the question arises-would you danger team's result for an oversea series that is an important one.our domestic players are not upto such level, they need to have some county experience.however,after 8 continous humilations, BCCI should take some bold steps now.

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    IPL should be abolished and ICC should step in to check the corporates spoiling the game. If the Board wants to continue with T-20 , it should be free from sponsors. Also, we should have separate teams for each version with a minimum of One day and T-20 fixtures to be fixed per year in order to maintain the fitness of our players. If this is done, the quality of Indian cricket will definitely improve.

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    Sachin has done it again .The much hyped cricket great who is compared to Don BRADMAN has not scored a single century in the last 21 innings .This takes not only the cake but also the whole bakery ! Even in the LARWOOD era the Don scored a century This is precisely the kind of situation when the Don would have not only got. a double century ( or at least a century ) to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat .It is high time he is sacked instead of waiting for the great day when he hopes to score a century .We surely need better batsmen to keep our reputation intact in international cricket .The non-performers must me sent home and new blood brought infused into the team .Why is this man singled out for special treatment when in innings after innings he has revealed his incompetence .And to compare him to the great Don is the height of foolishness .

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Hope India will face defeat today. Hypocrite will not remain conquered at last,there must be a fall for them.

  • pune on January 27, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    It seems that BCCI has pressure from marketing and media to allow sehwag, sachin, dravid , laxman , dhoni to include in test team rather than have players who can perfrom.Can any one explain how can a professional setup include non-performers in its team ? No one expects this flaw from a body which is run by full time professionals who are getting handsomely paid.

  • Vas on January 27, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Thanks for all response to my previous post guys; especially to Gibbo. He seems unbiased and a thinking cricket fan. @crikey: Just in case U don't know, hit the mute again to unmute! I hit the mute when the cheerleading starts (which is most of the time!). I strongly suspect U don't use mute; U like the cheerleaders. Perhaps U should ask Richie, Bill, Tony & heals to wear cheerleaders dress also. Wait on second thought U may not want to see it! I don't know; I will leave it up to U. @xylo, VivGilchrist, meaty & Kevin Jong: I am nto sure what U saying. Looks like U are very smart men (?) and very unbiased (???). Clarke didn't enforce follow-on to give rest to bowlers? Tell me when can U enforce follow-on & give rest to bowlers as well. (May be 50 years ago when they used to have a rest day? or when it rains?). If there is isn't such a ossibility U should agree with me (pigs might fly?). Trust me even if OZ has 600 run lead they wouldn't ask India to follow-on. Scar is too big!

  • Al on January 27, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    @aarifboy - We don't want SRT to score a century in ODI. He is jinxed - whenever he scores a century, India loses. Remember last years World Cup? We lost whenever he scored a century. During the WC finals, people in India were praying that let SRT score runs, but not a century, so that we can win the World Cup.

  • Chris on January 27, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    @ chokkashokka, the no one wins away from home arguement is fanciful nonsense. It is expected that teams will perform better in their own environment however most teams at some point have good away performances. As an example Australia has won a series in India in recent years and in fact has won four times in series in India. How many series has India won in Australia? Your whining about pitches mimics Gambirs childish comments. Poms had no problem winning on our pitches ans neither did the proteas. Suggesting that India prepare turning dust bowls to suit themselves is exactly what they have always done and why they get horribly exposed overseas. Your suggestion is akin to winning the shortest midget competition.

  • Peter on January 27, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    @SydneyIndi, You might be a cricket fan, but sadly, your knowledge of cricket appears not great. You only need to have reviewed the last few years at Adelaide to note that the pitch turns nasty on the last day, so help me understand, would you prefer to bat or bowl on a pitch that goes that way? You speak of scars, what about the 4-0 drubbing from the Poms and currently 3-0 here? The away averages for India for the past 12 months is like 24 with the bat & 58 for with the ball, would that not leave any scars? On another note, try listening to ABC grandstand on the radio with Harsha, Henry Lawson & Skull O'Keefe with the tv mute. Now THAT is pure entertainment.

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