Debutant off-spinner Jason Krejza grabbed two big wickets in three overs to lead Australia’s fightback in the fourth and final Test against India here on Thursday.
India were strongly placed at 98 without loss before slipping to 122-3 at lunch on the opening day, with Krejza taking two wickets and seamer Shane Watson one on a good batting pitch.
Sachin Tendulkar was unbeaten on 16 and Venkatsai Laxman on four not out at the break after new captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat.
India lead 1-0 in the series following their 320-run win in the second Test in Mohali. The matches in Bangalore and New Delhi were drawn.
India owed their early supremacy to Virender Sehwag, who hammered 66 for his 16th Test half-century. He hit one six and nine fours in his 69-ball knock.
Watson provided the breakthrough when he had Vijay (33) caught by wicket-keeper Brad Haddin with a lifting delivery. Vijay looked impressive in his first Test, playing a good supporting role.
Krejza, severely punished by Sehwag in his early overs, came back strongly when he had Rahul Dravid caught by Simon Katich at short-leg for a duck. His next victim was Sehwag, who edged onto his stumps.
Sehwag looked in aggressive mood from the beginning, driving paceman Brett Lee for a four in the opening over and then hitting Mitchell Johnson for two boundaries in an over.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting used four bowlers in the opening hour but none could unsettle the Indian openers. He was forced to introduce spin after only 12 overs.
Krejza, 25, was punished in his opening over, smashed for a four and then hoisted over long-on for a six by Sehwag. He has so far conceded 48 in six overs.
India made two changes from the side that drew the previous New Delhi Test, bringing in Vijay and fit-again spinner Harbhajan Singh in place of retired Anil Kumble and banned Gautam Gambhir.
Australia, who last lost a Test series in 2005 in England, included Krejza in place of paceman Stuart Clark.
The Test is the 100th for Laxman and last for former skipper Sourav Ganguly.