Melbourne: Defiant centuries from Virat Kohli, his third ton in this series, and Ajinkya Rahane helped India fight back to reach 336 for three at tea against Australia on Day 3 of the third cricket Test at the MCG, here today.
Resuming the day on 108 for one in response to Australia's first innings score of 530, India lost their overnight batsmen but Kohli, registering his ninth Test century, and Rahane stitched together a record 189-run unbeaten partnership to put the visitors in a much better position.
The fourth-wicket stand is the highest partnership at the MCG by any visiting side against Australia.
The duo though was helped by a few dropped chances as both the batsmen capitalised on their respective spills.
Rahane, getting his third Test hundred in 13 matches, gave a simple caught and bowled chance to off-spinner Nathan Lyon (0-68) only to see it go between the bowlers palms. He was on 70.
Kohli got into a heated argument with pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson (0-82) and the verbal volleys seemed have an adverse effect on the Indian vice-captain.
After the break Kohli (60 not out) and Rahane (43 not out) began again, looking to build on the 77-run platform they had laid in the morning.
Rahane got to his half-century in the 71st over, off 60 balls, and two overs later brought up the 100-run partnership between them.
India crossed the 250-mark in the 74th over and were nearing the follow-on mark when things got a bit frantic in the middle. First, Lyon dropped Rahane in the 80th over, completely missing a simple return catch.
Then as the second new ball was taken, Johnson hit Kohli with a return throw. The batsman had an angry go at him and then lost his composure. In the 85th over Johnson induced an inside edge only to be dropped by Watson at first slip.
Kohli again top-edged one off Johnson in the following over only for Haddin not being able to reach the ball. Things settled down as their 150-run partnership came up in the 87th over and from thereon, it was all about the milestones.
Rahane was the first to get to his triple-figures, reaching his 3rd Test century in the 90th over. It is his 3rd overseas Test hundred this year.
Four overs later, Kohli got his 4th ton in Australia as the duo closed out the session with 112 runs without losing a wicket.