AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) -Virat Kohli ended his agonising wait for a test century with a painstaking 135 not out, putting India on course to eclipsing Australia's first innings total of 480 on the penultimate day of the fourth and final test on Sunday.
India strung together six 50-plus partnerships to reach 472-5 at the tea break, with Kohli registering his first test hundred since November 2019.
All-rounder Axar Patel was batting on 38 at the other end.
India lost Ravindra Jadeja (28) after resuming on 289-3 but Kohli and KS Bharat denied Australia another success in that slow-moving session.
After Cameron Green bowled the first over of the day, Australia opted for spin from both ends and Todd Murphy broke Kohli's 64-run partnership with Jadeja, who chipped the ball to Usman Khawaja at mid-on.
Kohli was happy to nudge the ball around, while Bharat hit Nathan Lyon for a six before putting his head down and accumulating runs without taking too many risks.
Promoted in the batting order as Shreyas Iyer went for scans after complaining of back pain, Bharat accelerated after the lunch break, hitting Green for back-to-back sixes and following it with a four in a 21-run over.
Bharat fell to Lyon after making 44, but Kohli could not be denied his milestone.
The right-hander brought up his 75th international century with a single off Lyon and kissed the locket of his necklace and looked skywards in a muted celebration.
India, who lead the series 2-1, are chasing a victory in Ahmedabad to confirm their place in the final of the World Test Championship against Australia in June.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Jamie Freed)