Steve Smith held the Australian batting together on day two against India at the SCG as he registered his first Test century on home soil for more than three years.
Smith was the last man out after pubs of 131 – the first time he scored a Test ton in Australia since an unbeaten 102 during their Ashes clash with England in Melbourne in 2017.
Although he and Marnus Labuschagne (91) shared a century-long partnership, India’s bowlers battled back to dismiss Australia for 338, with spinner Ravindra Jadeja picking up four wickets.
Opener Shubman Gill then posted his Test before marrying half a century as India trailed 96-2 in response to lowering the deficit to 242 heading into day three.
Resuming at 166-2, Australia’s momentum was slowed by early morning rains, but Labuschagne looked ready for his first hundred of the series as he and Smith took their third wicket stand to just three figures.
However, Labuschagne became Jadeja’s first victim of the pubs, was abducted by slip by Ajinkya Rahane, and Smith maintained a gesture of solitary defiance as the middle order began to disintegrate around him.
Matthew Wade (13) tried to challenge Jadeja, only to pick Jasprit Bumrah in the middle of the match and then hit the sailor (2-66) twice with the second new ball to reduce Australia to 255-6 just after lunch.
Bumrah ripped one back to catch Cameron Green (0) lbw before bowling Tim Paine (1) in a similar fashion, but Smith frustrated the bowlers, advancing to his ton with a series of ramps and scoops.
Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon fell to Jadeja (4-62) without scoring, but Mitchell Starc’s lively knock of 24 from just 30 deliveries ensured the home team passed 300.
Jadeja eventually wrapped up the innings by running Smith out with a direct hit from the depths as the batter came back for a moment, with his diving not enough to make his ground.
Gill and Rohit Sharma then returned to the Indian side after injury with a solid opening stand of 70 either side of the break.
Josh Hazlewood (1-23) made the break, grabbing a hold back to dismiss Rohit for 26, but Gill – who looked strong off the back foot – went on to his first 50 in Test cricket.
Cummins (1-19) valued Gill out before the close, persuading him to drive into groove hands, and Cheteshwar Pujara (9 *) and Ajinkya Rahane (5 *) were left to see India through. (Skys Sports)