Rookie leg-spinner Amit Mishra claimed a five-wicket haul as India had Australia on the ropes on the third day of the second Test here in Mohali.
Mishra picked up three wickets to add to the two he had snared on the second day as Australia were bowled out for 268 just after tea despite fighting half-centuries from Michael Hussey (54) and Shane Watson (78).
That gave India a first-innings lead of 201, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to bat again rather than enforce the follow-on.
Virender Sehwag responded with a half-century and together with Gautam Gambhir helped India off to a fine start. The pair put on 100 in an unbroken stand for the opening wicket as India extended their lead to 301 without loss.
Sehwag reached his 50 with a boundary through square leg off Mitchell Johnson, the sixth boundary of his innings.
Earlier in the day, the 25-year-old Mishra, who came into this match for the injured Anil Kumble, picked up the wickets of Watson, Cameron White and Peter Siddle adding them to the two – Simon Katich and Michael Clarke – he had claimed on the second day.
Hussey was joined by Watson at the start of the day and the two foiled India's relentless pace attack for most of the first hour. Hussey pulled Ishant Sharma for two runs to square leg to bring up his half-century, but fell two deliveries later after edging to Dhoni.
Harbhajan Singh then took the wicket of Brad Haddin, , deceiving the batsman with flight and knocking back the Australian 'keeper's off stump. Mishra then found a way past White's defences with a googly for his first wicket of the day.
Watson was joined by Brett Lee just before lunch and the two helped Australia recover some ground with a valuable 73-run stand. Watson, tentative at the start of the day, opened up to collect his first Test fifty.
The duo's partnership was finally broken by Harbhajan, the off-spinner getting Lee to edge straight to Rahul Dravid at first slip.
Watson fell just after tea, trapped in front by Mishra. The end came as Siddle stepped out to drive Mishra only to miss and for Dhoni to complete a stumping.Reuse content