Australia snared the prized wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara but a stubborn Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 39 as India built a solid foundation on an intense opening day of the day-night first Test at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
Batting after Kohli won the toss, India were 107 for three at tea in front of a coronavirus-restricted but vocal crowd, with Ajinkya Rahane alongside his skipper on two.
Nathan Lyon got the big breakthrough by removing Pujara for 43 after a 160-ball stay as the dogged number three looked settled in for the long haul.
But it took a review, with replays showing he edged the ball onto his pad, popping it up to Marnus Labuschagne at leg gully.
It snapped what was shaping as a dangerous 68-run partnership with Kohli after India lost two wickets in a difficult first session, when they were pinned down by Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
They started to gain the upper hand after dinner -- a 40-minute break is being taken before tea in Adelaide -- as Kohli, in his only Test before heading home for the birth of his first child, upped the tempo and rode his luck.
He was fortunate to survive on five, nudging a short ball just off bat-pad from Cummins' bowling, with Matthew Wade just failing to get his hands underneath the ball.
Kohli also benefited from Tim Paine opting not to review a catch behind, which replays showed may have come off his glove.
At the other end, Pujara, whose 123 and 71 set up India for a 31-run win in Adelaide in 2018 en route to a maiden series victory in Australia, dug in as support, grinding out runs where he could.
Australia went into the clash with their usual three quicks, but also debutant all-rounder Cameron Green who sent down a handful of tidy overs, and they got off to a spectacular start.
Opener Prithvi Shaw was clean-bowled for a duck by left-armer Starc, the world's most potent pink-ball bowler, on only the second delivery, chopping onto his stumps as he looked to drive.
It was a poor shot and will give Indian selectors plenty to ponder after preferring him to fellow 21-year-old Shubman Gill, who has been in good touch.
Starc, who only rejoined the Australian squad this week after compassionate leave, almost trapped a tentative Pujara two balls later, catching an edge that fell just short of first slip.
It was slow going as Pujara and Mayank Agarwal scored just 21 in the first 10 overs before Cummins broke the second-wicket partnership with a beautiful delivery that clattered into Agarwal's middle stump, removing him for 17.
That brought Kohli to the crease at a ground he rates as his favourite overseas, steading the ship as he zeroes in on a 23rd Test half-century.