Shubman Gill scored his second Test hundred to lead India to 3-289 in reply to Australia’s first-innings total of 480 on day three of the fourth and final Test on Saturday.
Making use of benign batting conditions, Gill hit 128 while Virat Kohli also ground out a crucial half-century, his first in 16 Test innings. Kohli was on 59 not out at stumps, with Ravindra Jadeja (16) for company.
With two days remaining, India — which leads the series 2-1 — trails by 191 runs at Narendra Modi Stadium.
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Australia put a tight leash on scoring post-lunch, with only 23 runs coming off 14 overs.
Gill remained resolute, though, and reached his hundred off 194 balls. It was his first Test century on home soil.
Pujara was trapped lbw to Todd Murphy (1-45) after his DRS review was struck down. He faced 121 balls and hit three fours.
Kohli took a while to get going in his innings as India went to tea at 2-188, but Gill played more fluently, passing his previous highest Test score of 110 scored against Bangladesh in December. Gill faced 235 balls, hitting 12 fours and a six.
India scored 40 runs in the first hour of play after tea, but then lost Gill. He had cramps and it disturbed his concentration enough as Nathan Lyon (1-75) trapped him lbw.
“It feels great to score a hundred here as I play a lot of cricket on this ground,” Gill said.
“The pitch was pretty good to bat on and things were only happening off the rough.
“I was looking to pick singles and score.
“We will look to score big on day four, and maybe the wicket will help our bowlers on day five.”
That was an ominous remark by Gill.
So lethal are India’s spinners, and so fresh are the memories of Australia’s batting collapses in this series, that India remains bullish about victory despite the lifeless wicket.
Kohli was joined by Jadeja and looked more confident and fluent after the tea break.
They batted in a lower gear, though, with only 31 runs coming off the final hour of play.
Jadeja, surprisingly, faced 42 deliveries before hitting a boundary — a six off Matthew Kuhnemann (1-43).
Kohli reached his 50 off 107 balls to end his run without a half-century stretching back to January 2022.
Australia took the second new ball with six overs to go, but the Indian pair resisted.
Australia’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for captain Pat Cummins’ mother, Maria, who died in Sydney on Friday. Cummins flew home immediately after the second Test in Delhi to be with his family, with Steve Smith now leading the team.
India won the first two Tests, in Nagpur and Delhi, before Australia triumphed in Indore.
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