Gill’s ton drives India’s robust reply against Australia

AHMEDABAD, India :Shubman Gill smashed his second test hundred and combined in a 113-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara to fuel India’s robust reply to Australia’s first innings total of 480 on day three of the fourth and final test in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

India, who are 2-1 ahead in the four-match series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, reached the tea break at 188-2, still 292 runs behind.

Gill was batting on 103 playing his second match of the series while Pujara departed lbw after a dour 42.

New man in Virat Kohli was yet to open his account.

Earlier, both the Indian openers signalled their attacking intent after they resumed on 36 for no loss at the Narendra Modi Stadium, which presented the best batting conditions in the series.

Gill stamped his class with an exquisite cover drive against Mitchell Starc, while Rohit disdainfully pulled the left-arm quick for a six as India reached the 50-mark in the 13th over.

Left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann broke the 74-run opening stand when Rohit’s backfoot punch went straight to Marnus Labuschagne at short extra cover.

Rohit, who made 35, left shaking his head after failing to convert the start into a big knock in perfect batting conditions.

Gill and Pujara consolidated India’s position even though runs were not easy to come by in the second session.

On a hot day, Australia captain Steve Smith used his quicks in short bursts and often tinkered with field setting to stem the flow of boundaries.

The run-rate plummeted and India endured a 16-over boundary drought which Gill eventually ended with back-to-back fours off Cameron Green.

The opener brought up his hundred with a four off Todd Murphy before bowing to the applauding crowd in celebration.

Murphy tasted success with the final delivery of that over when Pujara fell lbw.

India need to win the match to seal their place in the final of the World Test Championship against Australia at The Oval in June.

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