Ravichandran Ashwin bagged four wickets as a dominant India held a 62-run lead at stumps on day two of the Adelaide day-night Test after Australian captain Tim Paine ran out of batting partners.
Paine was left stranded on 73 not out when the Australian innings ended at 191 to trail India's 244 by 53 runs.
Ashwin had figures of 4-55 while Umesh Yadav took 3-40.
At stumps, India in their second innings were one down for nine with Mayank Agarwal on five and nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah yet to score. The under-pressure Prithvi Shaw, who was out for a duck in the first innings, was bowled by Pat Cummins for four.
Fifteen wickets fell on the day which started when Cummins and Mitchell Starc took just 25 deliveries to knock off the final four India batsmen.
Australia in turn struggled to make headway as Bumrah, Ashwin and Yadav worked their way through the batting order.
"It certainly wasn't our best performance, but give India credit they bowled really well," said Paine.
"They put us under pressure and we just couldn't get any momentum or build any partnerships together. But anything can happen tomorrow.
"The main thing is to keep the scoreboard under control and hopefully one of our great bowlers has a bit of a run on and gets some momentum."
Even with India spilling five chances, they never allowed Australia to settle apart from a determined Paine who plugged on to his eighth half century, aided in part by being dropped by Agarwal on 26.
It was Paine's only misstep and he brought up his 50 off 68 deliveries with an assured cut to the boundary.
As his confidence grew he produced a reverse sweep to move into the 60s with a four off Ashwin.
After Australia took 28 balls to get their first runs on the board, Bumrah stepped up to remove makeshift opener Matthew Wade and the out-of-form Joe Burns for eight each before dinner.
Ashwin's spin captured the wickets of Steve Smith, Travis Head and debutant Cameron Green between dinner and tea with Smith, the world's premier batsman, facing 29 deliveries for his sole run.
In the final session Yadav snared Marnus Labuschagne and Cummins to expose the tail and joined Ashwin to take the final two wickets of Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood.
Labuschagne survived long enough in the middle to be Australia's second-highest scorer with 47, but his wicket was always under threat.
He was dropped three times before his luck ran out after tea when he was trapped in front by Yadav.
It was a fruitful over for Yadav, who removed Cummins before he could score.
"I'm just so happy to be playing Test cricket again, it's been a long while, it felt like I was making my debut all over again," said Ashwin.
"Obviously Steve Smith was a big wicket, in the context of the game a very important wicket."
India's first innings wrapped up quickly on the second morning with the last four wickets adding just 11 runs in 25 balls.
But the tourists' problems started in the final session the previous day at 188 for three, when Virat Kohli was run out to spark a spectacular collapse which saw their last seven wickets fall for 56 runs.
Starc and Cummins, who shared the final four dismissals, were the pick of the Australian bowlers, Starc finishing with 4-53 and Cummins 3-48.