Mohammed Siraj took a five-for as India bowled Australia out for 294, leaving them to chase 328 to win the series on the final day.
Rain ultimately ended the day’s play early, but not before India, with an inexperienced bowling attack spearheaded by the impressive Siraj, were able to set up a tense final day.
Australia came into the day on 21-0, and openers Marcus Harris and David Warner looked determined to push the game forward quickly. They contributed 89 runs for the opening stand, but then fell within two runs of each other, bringing Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith to the crease.
The pair have formed the backbone of Australia’s batting lineup this summer and looked set to define the match once more, before Siraj produced a gem that caught Labuschange’s edge and spat to third slip. Matthew Wade’s inconsistent series continued when Siraj knicked him off for a duck.
Smith was attack-minded and went to his half-century quickly. He found a highly competent partner in Cameron Green, and the pair advanced Australia’s cause. But Siraj broke through once more, this time with the important wicket of Smith, who was caught at gully after trying to fend off a vicious bouncer.
Tim Paine (27) and Pat Cummins (28*) got starts but failed to kick on, and none of the lower-order batsman produced the unexpected, leaving India with a sizeable total to chase if they want to win the series.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were not out at stumps, and both teams will hope that Tuesday’s predicted rain stays away.