Skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with a gritty century on Day 3 of the opening Test against Australia, but fell just before stumps as India ended the day at 369/5.Kohli shook off being hit on the helmet first ball by a Mitchell Johnson bouncer to notch up the ton, his seventh in Tests and third against Australia, on debut as captain.
Live Commentary, India Innings
The 26-year-old's innings ended at 115 after he pulled a Mitchell Johnson short-pitched delivery to Ryan Harris at deep fine leg.
Thursday provided a needling Test contest a day after rain interruptions and two days of Australian dominance. Every time India looked set to consolidate, the hosts prised out a wicket.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon got appreciable turn and bounce on the Adelaide Oval track to keep India on the edge in first innings reply to Australia’s 517/7, their overnight score on which skipper Michael Clarke declared.
Rohit Sharma (33*) and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (1*) are holding fort and will lead the fight on Day 4. India trail by 148 runs with 5 wickets remaining.
Like Kohli, Saha too got a torrid first-ball welcome from Johnson. The bouncer clattered into his gloves. He too shook it off.
India had three half-centuries and a century and scored at a fast clip, but Lyon proved quite a handful and kept them honest. Against lesser players of spin, he would have probably done much more damage than his 2/103 off 30 overs.
The off-spinner dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara (73) and Ajinkya Rahane (62) with vicious balls. Pujara saw the ball deflect of his bat and roll onto the stumps, while the delivery to Rahane spun and reared to take the glove on the way to Shane Watson in the slips.
Earlier, opener Murali Vijay struck his seventh Test fifty as India began their reply. India reached a steady 119/2 at lunch, not being blown away by Australia’s pace attack.
The day's play began half an hour early to make up for lost time on Wednesday. There was not even a speck of cloud on the blue sky as the sun came out bright and shining and 32 overs were bowled in the first session.
There was a strong wind blowing across the ground and with Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson made use of it with the new ball.
The two bowlers were on the money from the word go and Johnson would have been successful instantly, but keeper Brad Haddin let go off a tough chance off Shikhar Dhawan in the second over.
The left-handed opener though was in an attacking mood, and while Vijay took his time to settle down he sped away, smacking three boundaries in the third over.
He used the little width that was offered to him and raced to 25 runs off just 23 balls (5 fours), before playing a loose drive against Harris to be bowled with an inside edge deflecting back to his stumps.
It brought Pujara to the crease, the batsman looking to make amends for scoring only one fifty in his last 15 Test innings.
In between, Clarke threw the ball to Lyon as early as the seventh over, but did not persist with him at that instant as Vijay looked to attack him.
When he was reintroduced into the attack a little while later, the Tamil Nadu batsman was still looking to hit him out of the attack. Vijay hit Lyon for a six and a four off successive balls in the 20th over, adding another big hit in the bowler's next over.
Vijay was making use of the life given to him by Mitchell Marsh at third slip off Johnson in the 14th over earlier, as the all-rounder dived to his left and only got a hand to the driven ball.
Johnson had Vijay caught by Brad Haddin when he had reached 53.