India virtually snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, slumping to an agonising 48-run loss in the pulsating first cricket Test against Australia despite captain Virat Kohli’s gallant second successive hundred in the match here in Adelaide today.
Chasing a competitive target of 364, India were cruising along comfortably at 242/2 before the hosts staged a dramatic comeback to grab eight wickets for 73 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
The Indians folded for 315 in 87.1 overs with Kohli (141)and Murali Vijay (99) being the only ones to notch up noteworthy knocks even as seven batsmen departed without touching the double digit mark.
Kohli became only the second player in Indian Test history to score a century in both innings on his debut as captain but the stupendous feat was completely overshadowed by the shockingly inept performance by his other batting colleagues, who seemed bent on committing harakiri.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the pick of the Australian bowlers as he exploited the rough on the track to good effect to finish with figures for 7/152 for an overall haul of 12 wickets in the match. Lyon was adjudged Man of the Match for his superlative effort.
The result will come as a huge disappointment for the Indians, who virtually lost the match in the very last session when eight wickets fell in quick succession.
Kohli was left to rue yet another of India’s infamous batting collapses after putting the team in a rather comfortable position right up till the tea session with a career-best knock. He was dismissed by Lyon.
For Kohli, it was his eighth career hundred even though he was left a disappointed man on his debut as captain. He got good support from Murali Vijay who was unlucky, missing out on what could have been his fifth Test hundred by just one run.