Nathan Lyon ensured the decisive fourth Test between India and Australia remained tantalisingly poised, claiming four wickets on the second evening as the hosts reached stumps trailing by 52 on 248-6.
India initially seized the upper hand in Dharamsala on Sunday, as Cheteshwar Pujara - a double-centurion in Ranchi last time out - followed up another solid contribution from KL Rahul (60) by bringing up a half-century in the company of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane.
However, Lyon (4-67) provided a significant boost to Australia's hopes after tea, which India had taken on 153-2, removing Pujara (57), Karun Nair (5), Rahane (46) and Ravichandran Ashwin (30) as a fantastic pitch continued to offer something for everyone.
Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and a counter-attacking Ravindra Jadeja made it through to the close unbeaten on 10 and 16 respectively, the latter striking Steve O'Keefe (0-69) and Lyon for sixes.
Saha should have been dismissed late in the day, but Matt Renshaw spilled a relatively simple chance at first slip off Pat Cummins (1-59). Renshaw had earlier dropped a tougher chance, again off the luckless Cummins, to give Rahul a life on 10.
Although Lyon ultimately proved Australia's most threatening bowler, Cummins and Josh Hazlewood (1-40) each impressed as they shared much of the workload in Sunday's opening session.
Hazlewood ended an unconvincing innings from Murali Vijay (11), inducing an edge through to Matthew Wade behind the stumps, but Cummins' initial toil went unrewarded as Rahul rode his luck.
After bringing up his fifth fifty of the series, Rahul was again unable to kick on and fell to Cummins when he toe-ended a bouncer to cover.
Things were starting to look ominous for Australia when Rahane overcame a shaky start to reach tea unbeaten alongside the assured Pujara.
Yet Pujara offered a bat-pad catch to short-leg off Lyon in the first over of the evening session and the same bowler then found bounce to have Nair caught by Wade and Rahane held at slip.
Australia's decision to delay taking the new ball was justified when Lyon struck again to trap Ashwin in front - a review failing to save the batsman.
Renshaw's sloppy work at slip denied Cummins the wicket of Saha, but India - a batsman light after replacing injured skipper Virat Kohli with spinner Kuldeep Yadav - nevertheless have work to do in order to secure a first-innings advantage.