REUTERS: Australia grabbed two wickets before India steadied to be 62 for two in reply to the home side's 369 at tea on day two of the fourth test decider in Brisbane on Saturday.
Cheteshwar Pujara was eight not out, with stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane on two on a hot and humid day at the Gabba.
Paceman Pat Cummins struck early to dismiss Shubman Gill for seven, with Nathan Lyon, celebrating his 100th test, removing Rohit Sharma for 44.
Gill had not scored less than 31 in his four innings since his test debut in Melbourne but Cummins removed him cheaply, inducing a thick edge caught by Steve Smith in the slips.
Having built a 49-run partnership with the watchful Pujara, Rohit had seemed well set as he smashed Lyon through point for four in the spinner's third over.
But he threw away his wicket two balls later with a dance down the pitch and a miscued slog that Mitchell Starc snaffled after running in from long-on.
Rahane and Pujara then took no chances against the Australian bowlers, adding only two runs to the total in six overs following Rohit's dismissal.
Though short-handed in attack after a groin injury to seamer Navdeep Saini, India earlier bowled Australia out for 369 after the home side resumed on 274 for five.
Australia's hopes of building a big total were thwarted as India's bowlers removed captain Tim Paine (50), Cameron Green (47) and Pat Cummins (2) for the addition of only four runs midway through the first session.
Playing his 100th test, Lyon soaked up the acclaim of the Gabba crowd, pushing Australia past 350 before he was bowled by debutant Washington Sundar for 24 off 22 balls.
Starc chipped in a valuable unbeaten 20 before paceman T. Natarajan, the second of India's test debutants, wrapped up the innings by bowling Josh Hazlewood for 11.
Natarajan finished the best of India's bowlers with 3-78, while Sundar and Thakur also grabbed three wickets apiece.
Paine was caught in the slips by Rohit off Thakur, with Green following moments later after being bowled by Sundar.
Thakur trapped Cummins lbw, with the tailender failing to overturn the decision on review.
The series is level at 1-1.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Simon Cameron-Moore)