India fought back hard with the bat in their second innings on Thursday but only time will tell whether it was enough or not as they set Australia a target of 76 runs on Day 2 of the third Test in Indore.
The target seems small on paper but the pitch conditions are such that Australia might find it difficult to chase down in deteriorating conditions.
But the visitors will back themselves to overhaul the required runs as they have shown better application with the bat in this Test so far.
India would need lion-hearted efforts from spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel if they have any chance of stopping the Aussies before they reach 76.
'There is a chance', says Pujara
"75 may not be too many, but there's a chance. You need to attack and defence, a mix, on this pitch," Cheteshwar Pujara said after the day's play.
The hosts got bowled out for 163 in the final moments of the last session before stumps were called by the umpires.
Nathan Lyon was the star of the show as he bagged 8 wickets for 64 runs from 23.3 overs while Mitchell Starc and Matthew Kuhnemann took one each as the Indian second innings folded in 60.3 overs. It was the 23rd five-for in Lyon's 118-Test career.
Cheteshwar Pujara kept India's chances alive with his patient but gritty 59 while Shreyas Iyer made a useful contribution of 26 but the rest once again struggled against the spin and guile of Lyon, Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy on a pitch which is taylor-made for the tweakers.
"It's a tough pitch to bat on. It's not easy, you need to trust your defence, make sure you need to get to the pitch or if it's short, play off the back foot.
"My aim was to be a bit more positive, try and score as many as possible. If there was a bit more partnership with Axar, it could've helped," Pujara said.
Lyon-hearted show in Indore
India were in a strong position at one stage when Pujara was batting with Iyer during their fifth-wicket stand but once the latter departed thanks to a superb catch from Usman Khawaja off Lyon's bowling, the floodgates opened for the Aussies once again.
Lyon got Pujara out as well for the 13th time in Tests and also equalled Richie Benaud's record of 5 five-wicket hauls against India in India. He also went past Muttiah Muralitharan to become 2nd in the list of most wickets against India.
With 113 wickets in 25 Tests, Lyon sits only behind England’s James Anderson, who has 139 wickets against India in 35 Tests.
Lyon's 8 for 64 are the third-best bowling figures by a visiting spinner. He finished with 11/99 in the game, the ninth occasion he has achieved this feat against India.
Umesh removes Aussie tail
The day started with Australia starting at 156 for 4 but collapsed to 197 thanks to a super show of reverse-swing bowling from Umesh Yadav, who bagged three wickets while Ravindra Jadeja (4/78) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/44) shared the rest of the spoils between them.
Usman Khawaja remained Australia's top-scorer from Day 1 with 60 runs while Marnus Labuschagne (31), Steven Smith (26) and Cameron Green (21) also made handy contributions.
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