Resurgent Australia want to level series in India

Australia have set their sights on drawing the Border-Gavaskar series after securing a rare and memorable nine-wicket Test victory in India.

The tourists survived a small but tricky run chase of 76 to win the third Test at Holkar Stadium in Indore, just 75 minutes into day three, to celebrate just their second triumph on Indian soil since 2004.

Travis Head (49no) and Marnus Labuschagne (28no) were there at the end to mark an extraordinary turnaround for Australia after the visitors were humiliated in the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi.

"They are pretty hard to come by (wins in India)," acting captain Steve Smith said.

"For us to get on top in this game, particularly after losing the toss and fielding first as well, it shows the talent in this group and the belief we've got in ourselves.

"We screwed up, I suppose, in Delhi is one way to put it.

"We had an opportunity there and let that slip, but we had a good break and a good preparation coming here and it was just about getting our mental states right."

A chase of less than 100 would ordinarily have been straightforward, but the pitch spinning and bouncing sharply meant Australia started day three with some apprehension.

India were dismissed for 109 and 163, while Australia's first innings of 197 ended with a dramatic collapse of 6-11.

Usman Khawaja, who top-scored with a gritty 60 in Australia's first innings, was dismissed for a second-ball duck after nicking a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery to wicketkeeper KS Bharat.

Australia were forced to defend for the first 10 overs, but Head and Labuschagne started to play with a sense of freedom after Ashwin was rattled by the state of the ball.

The bowler complained several times to umpires and continued to express his frustration even after it was changed at the 10-over mark.

Head and Labuschagne then took on the star spinner, smashing several quick boundaries to ease any tension in Australia's dressing room.

Head's unbeaten 49 came from just 53 balls, adding evidence that he plays his best in Asia batting at the top of the order following his promotion to open after David Warner's exit from the tour.

Star spinner Nathan Lyon was named player of the match for his 11-99, including a legendary spell of 8-64 to run through India in their second innings.

During the match, Lyon passed India great Anil Kumble to become the leading wicket-taker in Border-Gavaskar series history.

The tourists' victory handed India only their third defeat at home in 45 Tests over the last 10 years, with Australia's win in Pune in 2017 among them.

Australia's hopes of winning the series are already gone, but it would be a monumental effort if they could finish their India tour level at 2-2.

The victory also confirmed Australia's spot in the World Test Championship, to be played at The Oval in London in June.

Australia always looked likely to be in the WTC decider, but could have missed out had they been whitewashed 4-0 in India and other results went against them.

"That's (WTC final) still a little while away, so we'll play the next game in Ahmedabad, hopefully level the series there and worry about that after," Smith said.

India remain their likely opponents, with captain Rohit Sharma saying before the third Test the hosts could prepare a green pitch for the fourth match in Ahmedabad if they won in Indore to get ready for the WTC final.

That green top appears a long-shot now, with India determined to bounce back next week and win the series 3-1.