Kohli’s achievement made him the first player in Test history to make three centuries in his first three innings as captain, following on from his innings of 115 and 141 in the first Test in Adelaide.
The 26-year-old – who now has four centuries in the series – was backed up by opener Lokesh Rahul, who made his maiden Test century with a knock of 110 as the tourists continued their reply to Australia’s imposing total of 572-7.
India resumed on 71-1 and added 26 runs before??Rohit Sharma was bowled by spinner Nathan Lyon for 53, but Kohli’s arrival at the crease saw India frustrate Australia as he and Rahul began – after a slow start – to pile on the runs.
Rahul was dropped on 46 by Australia captain Steve Smith, who appeared to blame the overhanging spider cam after spilling the ball.
Both Cricket Australia and the broadcasters subsequently confirmed the ball had not hit any object while in the air but Smith, who also dropped Kohli before the India skipper reached three figures, said he had been “distracted” by the wires.
Rahul -??who made just four runs on his debut in Melbourne -??reached his ton before giving Mitchell Starc a caught and bowled shortly after tea, with his steepling mistimed shot returning to earth almost exactly where he had played it.
Ajinkya Rahane went lbw to Shane Watson for 13, and the Australia all-rounder then had??Suresh Raina caught behind by Brad Haddin off his next ball.
Wriddhiman Saha survived the hat-trick ball and went on to make a pedestrian 14 not out as he supported Kohli, playing his first Test since being officially appointed as MS Dhoni’s permanent successor as captain, through to the close of play in Sydney.