Chennai, Feb 24 (IANS) India trailed Australia by just nine runs when tea was called with the hosts batting at 371/6 in their first innings on the third day of the first cricket Test match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Sunday.
Virat Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took India closer to Australia's first innings total of 380 after Sachin Tendulkar (81) missed out on a hundred in the morning session.
The hosts put on another 108 runs in the post-lunch session as Kohli (107) completed his fourth century -- a knock which included 15 boundaries and one six. He built up a significant 128-run fifth-wicket partnership with Dhoni, who also kept the scoreboard ticking.
After Kohli fell to offie Nathan Lyon, who clinched his second wicket of the match, Dhoni took charge of the innings and hammered a dozen boundaries and one huge six to reach 97 not out.
Ravindra Jadeja (16) became James Pattinson's fourth scalp. Ravichandran Ashwin (3 not out) had faced four balls when tea was called.
India, resuming the day at 182/3, added 81 runs in the morning session at the cost of Tendulkar, leaving a sizeable crowd in the stadium disappointed.
It was a closely fought session with Australian pacers keeping things tight in the first hour resulting in the wicket of the little master. Tendulkar looked poised to get his 52nd Test hundred until Lyon bowled him off a flighted ball that turned sharply.
Tendulkar's fans had started queueing up outside the stadium since early morning in the hope of seeing the master reach triple-figures but now will have to wait at least till the second innings of the match. The 39-year-old last scored a hundred two years ago in January 2011.