Australia's lower-order batsmen put up a stiff resistance against Indian attack as the hosts finished their first innings at 333, on the second day of the first cricket Test, being played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
India reached six without loss in the three overs that Virender Sehwag (4 batting) and Gautam Gambhir (2 batting) negotiated in the pre-lunch session.
Australia's tail wagged considerably and despite a couple of early blows in the second morning by pace speahead Zaheer Khan saw them bat 25 minutes prior to the lunch session.
Overnight batsmen Brad Haddin (27) and Peter Siddle (41) didn't last long but the ninth wicket pair of James Pattinson (18 not out) and Ben Hilfenhaus (19) added 27 runs but more importantly frustrated the Indian bowlers for 45 minutes.
Zaheer (4/77) made his presence felt almost immediately at the start of the day, when Haddin perished trying to drive uppishly as Sehwag took a nice low catch at the gully.
Haddin had earlier been lucky in the over when he sparred at a Zaheer delivery which flew off his edge and went for qa boundary between the 'keeper and slips.
Zaheer and his younger partner Umesh Yadav, kept things quiet for batsmen in the middle before the veteran left-arm seamer struck again, bowling a beautiful late outswinger which took the edge of Siddle's bat and was comfortably held by Dhoni.
Australia, resuming at 277 for 6, were now 291 for 8 within first eight overs. Haddin batted for an hour and half and hit just a four in his 27 runs from 70 balls while Siddle lasted for more than two hours contributing an useful 41 runs from 99 balls which included four boundaries.