Australia fight back on dominant Test day in India
Australia have responded from two embarrassing defeats to enjoy a rare day of dominance in India and take control of the third Test on a rank turner of a pitch in Indore.
The tourists went to stumps on day one at 4-156, a lead of 47, after Australia's spinners ripped through India during a chaotic opening session at Holkar Stadium.
But superstar allrounder Ravi Jadeja (4-63) once again did his best to turn the game in India's favour, claiming all four Australian wickets, including the prized scalp of acting captain Steve Smith (26) about 20 minutes before stumps.
Australia lost their top-four - Travis Head, Usman Khawaja (60), Marnus Labuschange (31) and Smith - but in-form No.5 Peter Handscomb (seven no) and allrounder Cameron Green (six no) remain unbeaten.
India have already burned all three of their reviews as Jadeja attempted to continue his extraordinary stranglehold over Australia.
Despite their position of dominance, Australia don't need reminding of how quickly India can claw their way back into a match after the hosts' remarkable comeback during the second Test in Delhi.
Left-armer Matt Kuhnemann, playing in his second Test, starred with 5-16 as India crumbled for 109 - their fourth lowest total at home against Australia and their shortest innings in terms of balls since 2008.
"Really special to take wickets out there with the team," Kuhnemann said after his best haul in first-class cricket.
"It is a really good day for our team in general with the bowlers going really well and the batters stepping up as well and doing a good job for us.
"It's really cool, but there's a long way to go in this game."
Australia's trio of spinners - Kuhnemann, Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy - took nine wickets before India's innings ended 30 minutes into the second session when Mohammed Siraj was run out.
After captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat, India stumbled to lunch at 7-84 as Kuhnemann and Lyon (3-35) stunned the hosts.
India lost 5-18 in a collapse similar to the trouble Australia found themselves in during the first two Tests.
The hosts briefly steadied through Virat Kohli (22) but young spin sensation Todd Murphy (1-23) claimed the Indian superstar's wicket for the third time this series.
Bowling allrounders Axar Patel (12 no) and Ravichandran Ashwin (three) rescued India out of immense trouble during the second Test but there was no repeat of their heroics.
It was drama in Indore from the start, with Sharma nicking Mitchell Starc to wicketkeeper Alex Carey off the first ball of the match.
However, umpire Nitin Menon gave Sharma not out and Australia failed to review the decision.
Starc trapped Sharma in front on the fourth ball of his first over with replays revealing the India opener would have been out had Australia used DRS.
But Sharma only scored 14 as he was stumped by Carey while trying to smash a Kuhnemann delivery.
The most extraordinary wicket of the day was Lyon's first, getting a ball to turn and keep low to smash into Cheteshwar Pujara's stumps.
Starc and Green opened the bowling after returning for their first match since suffering respective finger injuries during the Boxing Day Test win against South Africa.
Starc replaced Pat Cummins as Australia's frontline quick after the captain made the decision to return to Sydney to be with his seriously-ill mother.
Steve Smith is filling in as skipper for the third time since Cummins became Australia's red-ball leader in November 2021.
Whoever wins in Indore will secure their spot in the World Test Championship final at The Oval in June.