Perth: Captain Virat Kohli led an Indian fightback on day two of the second Test against Australia at Perth on Saturday.
At stumps, the visitors had overcome a terrible start and were 172 for three, still trailing the Australian first innings total of 326 by 154 runs with seven wickets in hand.
The imperious Kohli was unbeaten on 82 and shaping as the major stumbling block for Australia, with Ajinkya Rahane also in fine touch on 51, the pair having added 90 for the third wicket.
Up 1-0 in the four-Test series, India made a terrible start to their first innings after cleaning up the Australian tail in the morning session.
With the last ball before lunch, left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc found a gap between opener Murali Vijay's bat and pad to send his stumps flying for a 12-ball duck.
Shortly after play resumed both openers were gone, with Josh Hazlewood getting through KL Rahul's defences to bowl him for two with India slumping to eight for two on what appeared a tricky pitch on the first day.
However, Kohli looked comfortable from the moment he strode to the crease, a crisp on-drive from the second ball he faced from Hazlewood racing to the boundary.
His only real moment of concern came on 22, when he left a delivery from spinner Nathan Lyon and the ball just bounced over the bails.
Kohli faced 181 balls and hit nine fours, with a 25th Test century firmly in his sights on a wicket showing few of the devils of the first day.
Rahane hit six fours in 103 and had the honour of hitting the first Test match six at the new venue.
The stubborn Pujara offered strong support for Kohli initially, although he was fortunate to survive an early edge from the bowling of Hazlewood when he had just two runs.
The ball bounced just in front of Shaun Marsh at first slip, with Paine choosing not to go for the catch.
The pair added 74 before first Test centurion Pujara fell in surprising fashion for 24, caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Tim Paine from a wayward Starc (2-42) delivery.
India 82/3 from 38.2 overs:
WICKET! A rather unexpected end to Pujara's vigil. A faint edge onto the leg side and Paine accepts the catch gleefully. Starc has given Australia their third wicket.
India 8/2 from 5.1 overs:
WICKET! 2 down! Yorker length and Josh Hazlewood has sent KL Rahul packing.
India 6/1 from 3 overs:
WICKET! Murali Vijay's troubles refuse to leave him. But what a delivery that was! Swing, pace and that sound of the ball hitting the stumps. Vijay's poor shot selection is also to be blamed. Mitchell Starc gives Australia their first breakthrough.
Australia began at 277 for six and could add 49 runs to their overnight total.
Mitchell Starc cleaned up Murali Vijay (0) in the last ball before lunch to deal the first blow to India.
Marcus Harris (70) top scored for the hosts while paceman Ishant Sharma (4/41) took four wickets for India.
Sharma claimed the last two Australian wickets off successive balls and will be on a hat-trick when he will bowl in the second Australian innings.
India lead the four-match series 1-0....