Patient Kohli in sight of another Test century in Perth


A patient Virat Kohli was 82 not out and led the India fightback on day two of the second Test against Australia in Perth on Saturday.

At stumps, the visitors had overcome a wobbly start with the bat to reach 172 for three, after the home team were bowled out for a total of 326 earlier in the day.

The imperious Kohli was shaping as the major stumbling block for Aussies, with Ajinkya Rahane also in fine touch on 51, the duo having added 90 for the third wicket.

The visitors made a port start to their first innings though after cleaning up the Australian tail in the morning session.

With the last ball before lunch, left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc bowled opener Murali Vijay for a 12-ball duck while shortly after the interval Josh Hazlewood got through KL Rahul’s defences to leave India 8/2.

However, Kohli went on to face 181 balls and hit nine fours, with a 25th Test century firmly in his sights on a wicket showing few of the devils of the first day.

The stubborn Cheteshwar Pujara offered strong support for Kohli initially, the pair adding 74 before the India number three fell for 24, caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Tim Paine from a wayward Starc (2-42) delivery.

Earlier, India had cleaned up the Australian tail with Ishant Sharma (4-41) on a hat-trick in the second innings.

At 310 for six, the home side were edging towards an imposing first innings total after winning the toss and electing to bat.

But India, who are out to win their first-ever series in Australia, struck back to claim the last four wickets for just 16 runs.