Nathan Lyon roared Australia back into the contest as the Indian batsmen - for the first time in the series - got the wobbles, leaving the fourth Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi nicely poised.
The first day's play gave a hint of what was to be expected from the rest of the match, as the pitch and some brilliant bowling from Lyon (five for 94) curtailed the Indian juggernaut after the second day.
The hosts ended the day's play on 266 for eight, six runs ahead of the Australian first innings total of 262 all out.
India began their batting in serene fashion, with Cheteshwar Pujara opening the innings alongside the in-form Murali Vijay.
Pujara got off to a flier, scoring his first 20-odd runs at better than a run a ball, while Vijay looked equally comfortable at the other end as the Indian openers made the pitch look like a batting paradise rather than the difficult one which was on view on day one.
India eased into lunch on 59 for no loss from just 14 overs, looking well on their way to another big total.
Pujara and Vijay continued their assault on the Aussie bowling in the early stages of the second session reaching the century mark, before the wicket of Pujara changed the course of things.
The Saurashtra man surprisingly played down the wrong line to a Nathan Lyon delivery which held its line and crashed into off stump. This was only Pujara's (52, 5x4) second fifty of his entire career, having already made four hundreds.
Virat Kohli came in at No.3, and did not last long getting caught in front of the wicket to Lyon, as the Aussie off spinner came to the fore with an inspired spell of bowling. India were suddenly 114 for two from 108 for no loss and needed the cool head of Sachin Tendulkar to mellow things down.
That did not exactly happen, though.
Tendulkar should have followed Kohli soon after to the pavilion, but survived a couple of strong lbw appeals, the first one in particular looking like it would have crashed into the stumps after the Little Master missed the ball completely while attempting a sweep.
The Aussies had their tail up now, and even Mitchell Johnson from the other end produced some really good deliveries, while keeping things extremely tight.
Tendulkar kept struggling to the bowling of Lyon, whose angle from around the off stump was causing all sorts of problems, with the 39-year-old looking like a batsman making his debut rather than one playing in his 198th Test match.
A lofted sweep over backward square broke the shackles to a certain extent, before a patented cover drive seemed to ease the pressure a little bit more as India headed into the Tea break on 135 for two.
Vijay soon got out in the third session of play, caught by surprise from a Peter Siddle short delivery, only managing to glove it to the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
The game was calling out for a Tendulkar vintage, but unfortunately for the fans, it remained well rooted in the cellar, as the Little Master succumbed to the spin bowling of Lyon. Refusing to play Lyon off the front foot, Tendulkar finally got caught in front of the wicket, and with it ending his 53-ball 32-run stay, which included five boundaries.
MS Dhoni was looking good at the other end, cover driving Lyon for a couple of surprisingly elegant fours, with Ravindra Jadeja also finally looking like he could cut it with the bat in the Test match format.
The Indian skipper, though, fell to the softest of soft dismissals - one that would have even insulted the core of the soft dismissal bloodline - lobbing a catch to Shane Watson at short midwicket off the bowling of James Pattinson.
Ashwin came into bat and gave Jadeja good company, with the latter blasting a few highlight-worthy boundaries as India edged towards Australia's first innings total.
It again proved to be a false dawn, with Jadeja (43 in 49 balls) being dismissed off the first over from Glenn Maxell, who should have really been brought on earlier, a dodgy lbw, which seemed to missing off stump after the Indian left-hander had shouldered arms.
R Ashwin was lucky to survive a stumping chance, but Lyon got his fifth wicket in the last over of the day, with the batsman trapped plumb in front of off stump for 12 (41 balls, 1x4) as India ended the day with a slim four-run lead.
Earlier, Australia lost their two wickets for 31 runs, with Peter Siddle getting to his first ever half century before falling to Ashwin.
Siddle, who made 51 (136 balls, 4x4), played down the wrong line to an Ashwin delivery that held its line, and with it only managing to see his off stump knocked off the ground. The Indian off-spinner also completed yet another five-wicket haul with the wicket of the Australian fast bowler.
The last wicket pair, starting at 243 for nine, added another 19 runs, with James Pattinson the last man out. The left-hander edged a nice off spinner from Ojha, with the ball taking a deflection off Dhoni's gloves before falling perfectly into the lap of Kohli at first slip. It was only the first wicket for Ojha in the innings, but more importantly his 100th in just his 22nd Test match.