Adelaide, Dec 13: India virtually snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, slumping to an agonising 48-run loss in the pulsating first Test against Australia despite captain Virat Kohli's gallant second successive hundred in the match here today. (Kohli breaks 46-year record)
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 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. (Kohli matches Gavaskar)
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the pick of the Australian bowler 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. (Clarke doubtful for rest of series)
The second Test starts in Brisbane on December 17.
Tea Report - India 205/2
A solid 148-run stand for the unbroken third wicket between Vijay (85 batting) and Kohli (82 batting) propelled India to 205/2. India now need a further 159 runs with 37 overs remaining in the day.
Vijay faced 208 deliveries with nine fours and a six while Kohli's 82 off 112 balls with 10 fours and a six.
This was after Australia had declared at their overnight score of 290/5 and had a stipulated 98 overs to bowl at the Indian batsmen on this final day of the match. (Kohli, India's 32nd Test captain)
Lyon (1-91) and Johnson (1-28) were the only two wicket-takers on the day so far. Ryan Harris (0-28), Peter Siddle (0-16), Shane Watson (0-6), Mitchell Marsh (0-11) and Steve Smith (0-18) were the other bowlers tried out.
Before lunch, the Vijay-Kohli partnership was worth 48 runs and draw looked the more likely result after the hosts had chipped away two early wickets. Much depended on this second session of play on this final day of the Test.
Kohli and Vijay comfortable against Lyon's spin
These two batsmen had been the most comfortable against Lyon's spin in the first innings and they build on it in the second innings, laying the platform for the possibility of a push for victory in the final session of play.
Kohli was the main architect of this plan since he had attacked Lyon ever since he came to the crease.
After lunch, he continued with the ploy, hoisting the spinner for a six. It was a good contest as the spinner had a close shout for leg before against him four overs later. But Kohli came out on top, scoring 46 runs off the 51 balls he faced from the bowler.
He brought up his 10th Test fifty in the 45th over, reaching there in 69 balls. At the other end, Vijay was solid, and he too got to his eighth Test fifty off 131 balls, getting to the mark earlier in the 37th over.