India were six without loss in reply to Australia’s first innings 333 at lunch on the second day of the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Indian openers Gautam Gambhir (2) and Virender Sehwag (4) negotiated three tricky overs to the lunch break.
Sehwag was typically rumbustious despite the tense opening and hoicked his first delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus high over mid-off for two to set the scene for the middle session under sunny skies.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke set point and gully deep in anticipation of a sliced shot from the uninhibited Sehwag, who smashed a one-day record score of 219 off 149 balls against the West Indies in Indore earlier this month.
Earlier, the Australia tail added 56 runs for the last four wickets in the 97 minutes’ batting time.
Brad Haddin only lasted 10 minutes into the second morning before he snicked Zaheer Khan to Sehwag in the gully for 27 ending a partnership of 72 runs with Peter Siddle.
Siddle’s 99-ball resistance ended with a great delivery from Zaheer.
The Indian left-armer got one to leave Siddle off the pitch and prise a catch behind for M.S. Dhoni for 41.
Hilfenhaus hit three fours in his unrestrained 19 before he holed out to Virat Kohli in the deep off spinner Ravi Ashwin.
Nathan Lyon was last man out bowled attempting to sweep Ashwin for six leaving James Pattinson 18 not out off 54 balls.
Zaheer finished the best of India’s bowlers with four for 77 off 31 overs, while Umesh Yadav and Ashwin finished with three wickets each.