Kohli ton in vain, Aussie does not force follow on
Kohli scored a magnificent 116 as India finished their first innings at 272 in reply to Australia`s mammoth first innings score of 6-4 for seven declared.
Although India trailed by 332 runs, Australia didn`t enforce follow-on. It was Kohli who stole the show in his eighth Test as he played some delightful strokes enroute his century.
Peter Siddle did the star turn for Australia by claiming five for 49 and was once tantalizingly close to a hat-trick. Kohli, who was unbeaten on 91 at tea, suffered jitters on resumption, as he suddenly seem to run out of partners in the final session.
Siddle was the man to do the damage, first winning a leg- before shout against R Ashwin (5) and then drawing Zaheer Khan (0) into an indiscreet swish outside his off-stump. New man Ishant Sharma averted the hat-trick but things had begun to sizzle in the middle as Kohli suffered from an attack of nerves.
The youngster smashed Ryan Harris through the covers to move to 95 and then pushed to 99 through couple of twos when anxiety got the better of him. He thrice fiddled with deliveries outside his off-stump without quite nibbling it and once went for a non-existent single, getting back into his crease in the nick of time.
It drew a jibe from Australian fielders and saw Kohli angrily raise his bat in the direction of Ben Hilfenhaus before Ricky Ponting intervened and cooled things down. The nerves were still visible when Ishant nearly ran himself out, trying to escape the barrage of short-pitched deliveries which Australians, and Harris in that particular over, were delivering at him.
Kohli finally managed to push Siddle through the covers to raise his century and celebrated in a wild manner as his teammates gave him a standing ovation. So elated was the former India U-19 captain that he almost forgot to take the seconde run.
Kohli`s century took him 218 minutes and 199 balls and contained eight fours and a six.
Meanwhile, Ishant was living dangerously at the other end but still flinging his bat to good effect, twice playing unintended steers through point off Ryan Harris.
Ben Hilfenhaus was introduced in place of Siddle at the other end and he almost immediately struck gold, bowling one in the line of stumps and a fidgety Sharma could do little than just watch it hit his off-stump. Running out of partners, Kohli now unfurled some glorious strokes. He smacked Harris over mid-on and extra cover. In the next over off Hilfenhaus, he imperiously pulled him off the front foot.
But Hilfenhaus had his man an over later by winning a leg-before shout against the centurion. Kohli batted for 237 minutes and faced 213 balls, hitting 11 fours and a six.