India edged ahead of Australia on the fourth day of the Ahmedabad Test thanks to a superb knock from Virat Kohli on Sunday but the match itself seems to be heading towards a high-scoring draw at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
India took a 91-run lead after Virat Kohli's 186 which was preceded by Shubman Gill's 128 as the hosts posted 571 in their first innings on the penultimate day.
This came in reply to Australia's 480 which they scored over the first-two days of the fourth Test after Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat first at Motera.
The Aussies ended the fourth day at 3 for no loss as openers Travis Head (3*) and Usman Khawaja (0*) survived six nervy overs before the close of play.
Virat Kohli ends long wait for Test hundred
But the day belonged to the former India captain, also known as King Kohli in our part of the world.
The 34-year-old ended a wait of over 3 years as he brought up his 28th Test hundred and first in the format since November 2019.
It was his 75th international century and 8th against the Aussies. Kohli also equalled retired legend Sunil Gavaskar's tally of 28 tons as he brought up triple figures for the 14th time in Test cricket in India.
His 364-ball knock lasted 520 minutes and included 15 fours. His wife Anushka Sharma later revealed on social media that Kohli was unwell during the knock.
"Playing through sickness with this compusure. Inspiring me always," Anushka Sharma captioned her Instagram story after Kohli's latest Test hundred.
Centurions Kohli, Gill put India ahead
Kohli was India's second centurion in the first innings after Shubman Gill, who scored 128 on Day 3.
They both were part of a 58-run partnership for the third wicket after which Kohli stitched three big stands with Ravindra Jadeja (28), KS Bharat (44) and Axar Patel worth 64, 84 and 162 runs, respectively.
Patel once again made an important contribution with the bat with 79 runs to take his overally tally to 264 from four Tests with one innings to go.
The all-rounder trails only Usman Khawaja (333) and Kohli (297) on the list of highest run-getters in this Border-Gavaskar series.
India lead the four-match series 2-1 and retained the trophy for the fourth time in succession after winning the Delhi Test. But a win in Ahmedabad seems unlikely due to the flat pitch and lack of time left in the game.
How India can qualify for WTC Final?
India need to win the series 3-1 to guarantee a place in the ICC World Test Championship final. A draw in Ahmedabad will mean that they will have to depend on the Test series result between New Zealand and Sri Lanka to know their fate.
If Sri Lanka stun hosts New Zealand 2-0 and India don't win the fourth Test then the islanders will qualify for the final. But if India draw against Australia and the Lankans don't sweep the series in New Zealand, then Rohit Sharma's team will go through.
Australia have already qualified for the WTC summit clash after winning the Indore Test. The WTC final will be played at The Oval in London from June 23 this year.
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