Kohli's ton makes a point but Aussies lead by 175

PERTH • Virat Kohli has proved time and again he can be pretty vocal but, yesterday, the India captain let his bat do the talking with a sublime century on Day 3 of the second cricket Test against Australia.

The Indian run-machine hit his 25th Test century, injecting fresh life into India's reply to Australia's first-innings total of 326.

At stumps, Australia were 132 for four, with Usman Khawaja on 41 and Tim Paine on eight, an overall advantage of 175 after leading by 43 runs on the first innings.

While front-line batsmen from both sides struggled on Perth's new stadium track, the feisty Indian joined compatriot Sachin Tendulkar as the only visiting batsmen to have scored six Test hundreds in Australia in the last seven decades.

And, when it came to celebrating the hundred, actions spoke louder than words as Kohli placed his helmet on the ground, pointed to his bat and made a yapping gesture with his gloved hand.

"I really have no idea what he meant, but he's always very animated with his celebration," India quick Jasprit Bumrah told reporters.

"It's always fun to watch it from the dressing room."

Kohli had walked in on Saturday with his team on a precarious eight for two and, by the time Pat Cummins dismissed him for 123, he had forged three significant partnerships of 50 or more to guide the India to a respectable 251-6.

Bumrah said: "He's been doing it for a while. He's an inspiring leader, who leads from the front. It's a great thing for us."

Kohli needed 127 innings to register 25 Test centuries, second only to Australian great Don Bradman, who required 68 to reach the landmark. His dismissal was not without drama either.

The 30-year-old edged Cummins to second slip where Peter Handscomb took a low catch. Debate will rage on as to whether it was a clean catch, but third umpire Nigel Long did not have conclusive evidence to overturn it.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2018, with the headline 'Kohli's ton makes a point but Aussies lead by 175'. Print Edition | Subscribe