India\’s stand-in captain Virat Kohli helped the tourists to 223-3 at tea Thursday on the third day of the first test against Australia.
Kohli was 48 not out at the interval, while Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay notched half-centuries to move India toward its first target of avoiding the follow-on after Australia declared on its overnight total of 517-7.
Kohli was struck on the helmet by a Mitchell Johnson bouncer with the first ball he faced.
With this match coming soon after the death of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes from a similar incident in a domestic state match, there was a high level of concern among Australia\’s fieldsman who rushed to Kohli to make sure he was not seriously hurt.
Australia captain Michael Clarke also consoled Johnson, recognizing his distress.
Kohli was unhurt and batted through to tea, when the other not out batsman was Ajinkya Rahane on 19. They had shared an unbroken 81-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
India lost only one wicket between lunch and tea: Pujara was out for 73 when received an awkward delivery from spinner Nathan Lyon which came off bat and body before rolling back onto the stumps.
India\’s scoring rate slowed between lunch and tea in the face of tight bowling from Lyon — who looped the ball and found turn from foot marks in the pitch at the Adelaide Oval, where he used to be a member of the ground staff.
Ryan Harris, playing his first test in eight months, claimed the first wicket to fall Thursday — Shikhar Dhawan for 25 — and maintained a tight line which frustrated India\’s efforts to score quickly.
Harris had 1-36 for 12 overs at tea, after taking 1-6 from five overs in his opening spell. Johnson had 1-68 from 13 overs, paying for his decision to mostly pitch short of a length, and Lyon had 1-63 from 17 overs.