The third day of the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy saw Australia bowlers work hard with little success, as India erased a substantial chunk of their deficit.
Shubman Gill (128), Virat Kohli (59*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (42) made the most of a good batting wicket, helping the hosts to 289/3 at stumps.
India batters have their say in favourable conditions
In the morning, Gill and Rohit Sharma found little trouble to get going on a track which stayed true to its nature. Australia pacer Mitchell Starc bore the brunt of their aggression, as he was taken apart for 26 runs in merely three overs.
India lost their first wicket against the run of play, when Rohit hit a full Matthew Kuhnemann delivery in the air towards the cover region. Marnus Labuschagne held on to a straightforward catch at short extra cover as the India skipper walked back at 35.
Rohit crossed 17,000 international runs during the course of his innings.
Hereafter, Pujara joined hands with Gill to stitch together a comfortable partnership of 113 runs. Pujara followed his usual watchful approach during his 42.
Pujara went on to cross 2000 Test runs against Australia. He becomes only the fourth India batter after Sachin Tendulkar (3630), VVS Laxman (2434) and Rahul Dravid (2166) to achieve this landmark.
Gill, on the other hand, took the more proactive approach. He opened his arms against Cameron Green in the 57th over after a relatively quiet period of play.
Two crisp shots to release the pressure in style 💥— BCCI (@BCCI) March 11, 2023
Into the 9️⃣0️⃣s now @ShubmanGill 🙌#TeamIndia 🇮🇳 | #INDvAUS | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/McDJ1KDSs1
The Punjab batter added 64 runs in the partnership.
Gill went on to score his second Test century, and the first at home, with a sweep against Todd Murphy in the 62nd over.
Shubman Gill’s second Test hundred drives India’s fightback.#WTC23 | #INDvAUS | 📝 https://t.co/VJoLfVSeIF pic.twitter.com/gRWYi8qm50— ICC (@ICC) March 11, 2023
Kohli came to the wicket after Pujara fell to Murphy in the same over. The batter took his time to settle in, and then got amongst runs.
🏏 @imVkohli 🆚 Mitchell Starc— BCCI (@BCCI) March 11, 2023
Quality shots on display 👌👌#TeamIndia 🇮🇳 | #INDvAUS | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/4J9vHV9GGm
Kohli hit five boundaries during his innings of 59*. This was the Delhi batter's first half-century in Tests since his 79 at Cape Town in January 2022.
First fifty-plus score in Tests for Virat Kohli since January 2022.#WTC23 | #INDvAUS | 📝 https://t.co/VJoLfVSeIF pic.twitter.com/UGR0XCjnmu— ICC (@ICC) March 11, 2023
For Australia, Nathan Lyon (1/75), Kuhnemann (1/43) and Murphy (1/45) finished with a wicket apiece.