Australia edged ahead slightly on a cracking third day of test cricket, but play was overshadowed by a controversial catch to dismiss Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

Kohli took the fight to the Aussies with a stunning display with the bat, but after being unable to eclipse the Australian total it's the tourists who will have their backs up against the wall when day four gets underway at Optus Stadium in Perth.

Pat Cummins continued his stranglehold over Kohli but the Indian captain wasn't too pleased when he was sent back to the pavilion.

Kohli edged a full ball to Peter Handscomb at second slip and he dived forward to take a catch just before the Kookaburra hit the ground, the third umpire decided.

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The on-field umpires gave a soft signal of out before sending the call upstairs to confirm the catch. There was no conclusive evidence to overturn the decision so Kohli was sent back to the sheds for 123.

Indian captain Virat Kohli wasn't happy after being dismissed in controversial fashion. Photo / Getty
Indian captain Virat Kohli wasn't happy after being dismissed in controversial fashion. Photo / Getty

Ricky Ponting said in commentary he was in no doubt Handscomb's catch was clean and Fox Cricket's Kerry O'Keeffe said the same, but not everyone on social media was so sure.

Kohli looked filthy — whether with himself or the decision — as he walked off the ground without acknowledging the crowd.

"Virat Kohli is not happy," commentator James Brayshaw said.

The dismissal divided cricket fans and greats of the game alike and stole the limelight on what was a stunning third day of action.

After standing up and claiming the catch, Handscomb signalled to the umpire that Kohli was out. A move slammed by Adam Gilchrist.

"This putting the finger up and saying 'yep, that's out', it reminds me of Ricky Ponting in Sydney some years ago in what ended up turning into one of the uglier test matches," he said.

"It's a dangerous game to play there."

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Peter Hanscomb signalled to the umpire that Virat Kohli was out after claiming a controversial catch at second slip. Photo / Getty
Peter Hanscomb signalled to the umpire that Virat Kohli was out after claiming a controversial catch at second slip. Photo / Getty

Former Australian opener Simon Katich backed up the thoughts of Ponting and O'Keefe, believing the correct decision had been made.

"I thought it was out," Katich told SEN Cricket.

"Everyone's going to have their opinion and view it differently no doubt and it's always difficult with those catches down low, but for me it looked like he had his fingers wrapped around the ball."

Of course it didn't take long for fans to remind all of the controversy which surrounded India's catch from the opening Test which brought an end to the Australian innings and handed them the 1-0 series lead.