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Virat Kohli century, Ravindra Jadeja wickets, Talking Points for Day 4 Cricket News 2023

The Ahmedabad Test is slowly approaching a stalemate despite Virat Kohli’s classic mastery on day four of the final series at Narendra Modi Stadium.

The former Indian captain struck a classy 186, his first Test century since November 2019, and led the hosts towards 571 on Sunday, while Axar Patel provided support with a warrior 79.

Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon finished 3-151 from 65 overs, setting a new personal best for most deliveries in a Test innings. Young fiend Todd Murphy also contributed three wickets, including the prized scalp for Kohli.

Both teams are sweating over fitness concerns – Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer was sent for checks on his back, while Australian opener Usman Khawaja injured his knee while trying to catch him in the outfield.

Australia were 0-3 at stumps, still trailing India by 88 runs, and Travis Head and night-keeper Matthew Kahneman were unbeaten overnight.

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“The gates have been opened”: the king has returned

24 games, 42 innings, 1,205 days.

It took him some time, but Virat Kohli finally made his 28th Test century.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian superstar has been uncharacteristically regular in the five-day form, averaging 27.50 with the bat across 21 matches.

Before the Ahmedabad contest, his last Test century was in November 2019 – an elegant 136 against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens. After this knock, he did not reach 80 in 42 Test innings.

But in a friendly mini-game at Narendra Modi Stadium, Kohli finally put to rest any speculation about his form.

Hundreds of phones got whipped when Kohli hit 99, with fans wanting to capture the moment their hero hit his 75th international century. He passed the feat with a trademark flick across the middle of the wicket, took off his helmet and saluted the crowd before kissing his necklace and looking up to the sky.

Kohli even turned into a father’s hundred, finishing with 186, his highest Test score against Australia, after nearly nine hours at the crease. According to Kohli’s wife, Indian actress Anushka Sharma, the cricketer has been battling illness throughout the marathon routes.

Virat Kohli from India.  Photo by Robert Cianflun/Getty Images
Virat Kohli from India. Photo by Robert Cianflun/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The 34-year-old needed 239 deliveries to reach triple figures, and rarely slammed Australian spinners or climbed over the pitch. He was patient, never playing against spin, instead waiting for the two putters to stray onto his pads, the leg look being his most productive stroke.

The King is back, and hopefully, he’s here to stay.

“The drought is over. The floodgates have opened,” former Australian batsman Mark Waugh said on Fox Cricket.

“You could tell from the start he meant business. He played very few risky shots.

“He was very patient, just picking the bowling.

“I don’t think he’s at his best at the moment, as far as his Test career is concerned…but he’s just showing you his class.”

“Unreal”: An amazing shooting racket that just keeps shining

There wasn’t much for Australia to celebrate on the fourth day of the Ahmedabad Test, but Todd Murphy’s performance deserved applause.

Despite the favorable conditions for batting in Ahmedabad, Murphy always looked like a threat with the ball in hand, forcing the India senior team to drop anchor and defend. Bad balls were rare, relentlessly strewn with good length while subtle differences in pace and seam position kept batters on their toes.

Murphy’s fight with Virat Kohli was one of the highlights of the Border-Gavaskar Cup, and their wrestling continued on Sunday morning. The off-spinner bowled two consecutive overs at the former India captain before Ravindra Jadeja was dismissed at the other end.

Later that evening, Kohli finally fell victim to Murphy for the fourth time in the series – albeit after scoring 186.

The 22-year-old finished with numbers of 3-113 in 45.5 innings, dropping just 2.47 points. He was undoubtedly the pick of the Australian bowlers in Ahmedabad.

“He plays neatly, he controls everything,” former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said in a commentary.

“Hardly conceding anything.”

Only 11 matches into his first-class career, Murphy continues to lay claim to being Lyon’s heir apparent. If the national selectors decide Australia needs two batsmen in the Ashes squad this winter, Murphy is at the front of the queue.

“I haven’t thought much about the future but when you look … when this series ends, it’s going to slow down a little bit, and it’s very rare for other places in the world to play two spindles,” Murphy told reporters on Tuesday. .

“To get a taste of this so early will get me better and what’s more when I hope it comes next.”

Nathan Lyon and Matthew Kahneman stole the spotlight at Indore last week, with Murphy contributing just one on the raging corner at Holkar Stadium. The pinch hitter was lauded after winning nine bowling wickets in partnerships, killing one end and allowing his mates to attack at the other.

“Obviously Nathan and Matt got all the points but … his spell allowed everybody around him to take that wicket,” Australia’s assistant coach Daniel Vettori told reporters earlier this week.

“Todd has this skill that he can be a defensive player and he can be an attacking player and he works around whatever is required of him in the game. For such a young and inexperienced pitcher…to be able to come here and deal with these difficult situations and play the part required, it was impressive.”

Todd Murphy Australia. Photo by Robert Cianflun/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“What is this shot?”: Jadeja’s brain faded

Deja vu, anyone?

Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja bowled recklessly on Sunday morning, dismissing in almost identical fashion the way Australian opener Travis Head left on day one.

Having just rammed spinner Todd Murphy down to the ground for a boundary, Jadeja attempted the same catch a few deliveries later, but the bat spun in his hand and headed towards the middle of the wicket, accidentally landing between two fielders.

But the 34-year-old didn’t learn his lesson, mistaking another driving straight later from the same spot, and was caught midway by Usman Khawaja for 28.

Jadeja, who wasn’t 16 (54) out overnight, was extremely patient with the bat the night before, joining Virat Kohli to guide the hosts safely to the stumps.

The left-hander should have been instructed to pick up the tempo to force a score – if not, it’s hard to justify his shot selection.

“What did he do here?” Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle said.

Jadeja has played shots that are completely out of character, and he has given Australia a small wicket on the plate.

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar continued, “What happened? Did someone say anything to him that ended abruptly in this particular matter, he went the air way?”

“Look at that. What’s that shot? Kohli isn’t impressed and the changing room won’t be affected, I can tell you that. Rahul Dravid, the coach, won’t be impressed with that shot.

“He’s played such responsible roles before this one, so this is a hard shot to understand.”

India were still 171 behind when Jadeja departed, giving the Australians a sniff at deciding their first-innings lead. The hosts were also without Shreyas Iyer, who was sent in for checks on his back, meaning they had one less stroke at their disposal.

However, Waugh was less critical of Jadeja’s dismissal, praising him for trying to move the game forward.

“Murphy was really full bowling… I don’t mind him,” Waugh said on Fox Cricket.

“He just didn’t quite center it.”

Ravindra Jadeja from India. Photo by Robert Cianflun/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Anti-Basketball Strategy “It’s Hard to Watch”

What is the opposite of BazBall?

Cricket fans in Ahmedabad witnessed an old-fashioned clamor at the Narendra Modi Stadium this week, as the two teams battled at a slow pace in the first half.

The Australians scored 2.86 at a time during their knocks, with Usman Khawaja absorbing 422 deliveries at the crease on his way to 180.

India were more defensive on the third day – during the tedious 16-over period of play on Saturday afternoon, the hosts mustered just 22 runs.

The morning session of day four was all but forgettable, with Virat Kohli and Srikar Bharat looking to occupy the crease and grind the Australian bowlers into the dirt.

India’s plan, to survive until the fifth day and make sure Australia had no chance of victory, was a stark contrast to what England had achieved under Brendon McCollum over the past 12 months.

England takes risks, whether through gallant declarations with fierce batting, always making sure that cricket is entertaining and that all fours results are possible regardless of the circumstances.

The jury decided which strategy was the most effective, but the Fourth Test between India and Australia was slowly coming to an end – Ben Stokes would not have let this match end in a draw.

“It was tough to watch,” Waugh said on Fox Cricket at lunch.

“They just want to beat and beat and beat. They want to beat until tomorrow morning… That’s the plan.”

“They’re just focused on eliminating deficits, and then they might start upping the ante.

Former Australian wicket-keeper Brad Hadden continued: “It was hard to watch.

“I understand what India is doing. They are completely taking Australia out of the game. They are taking the win off the table.”

Virat Kohli from India. Photo by Robert Cianflun/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Kohli was particularly defensive on Sunday morning, scoring 29 points on 92 deliveries before the lunch break. Wu attributed the 34-year-old’s defensive mentality to a three-year drought.

“That’s all he had in mind, scoring a hundred,” said Waugh.

“I’d like to see him be a little more active and go over the top, but I can see what he’s doing. He hasn’t scored a Test century in over three years… He’s only there to make a hundred.”

“He just doesn’t want to give a player any chance of being sent off. Room for error is nothing. He’s just looking to defend and get away. He’s not looking to play any risky shots.

“If he’s skimming hundreds, he’s not going to hit that way. He’s hitting like a guy who hasn’t scored a hundred in a long time. He’s just grinding it out.”

Fortunately, Kohli picked up the pace after hitting triple figures – his batting average swelled from 41.84 to 68.80 after celebrating with his belly.


The person who may not have received enough plaudits in the past 48 hours is Alex Carey, who has done 1,073 squats since Friday night.

The Australian gloveman has been a rock behind the stumps throughout the series, rarely leaving an untidy road or limiting regulation opportunities. He even kept the stumps as Cameron Green rocketed 135km/h on the fourth day, but the 31-year-old was back in position when the keeper flew over his head for the bounds.

“In wickets like these, it’s more about mental focus,” Carey told reporters at the stumps.

“I’ve been there nearly 180 times abroad, so I keep myself mentally fresh for that moment that may come.

“It’s great to have some time in the middle after a shorter experience in the first three test matches.”

India is arguably the most challenging country to wear gloves, and Carey has done a commendable job.

“Alex Carey has kept the same class as any goalkeeper in the last 20 years,” Hadden said on Fox Cricket.

“He was faultless. I think he dropped one ball in this test match.

“It was absolutely amazing.”

However, Curry’s batting has not been so good over the past seven weeks – the South Australian bowler averaged 9.33 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, passing 10 just once in six strokes.

Maybe it’s time to bring him back to the Karachi hotel pool?


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