Opener Shubman Gill scored his second Test century, and his first in India, while Virat Kohli looked at his fluent best to be unbeaten on 59 as the hosts reached 289/3 in 99 overs, trailing Australia by 191 runs at stumps on day three of fourth Test.
On another hot day at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Gill dazzled the most with his 128 off 235 balls, laced with 12 fours and a six. Kohli, on the other hand, overcame a nervous start before tea to get his first fifty in the format, with the help of five fours, since the Cape Town Test in January 2022 to put India in a strong position.
The final session began with Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy operating in tandem. Gill continued from where he left in the second session, bringing out the reverse sweep off Murphy for four. With him and Kohli rotating the strike, Gill broke a five-over non-boundary period by dancing down the pitch to whip Lyon through mid-wicket.
Kohli welcomed Starc by driving through mid-off with the straight bat and then ended the over by clipping through the square leg for a brace of boundaries. He grew better as the overs progressed, driving Murphy through cover for a boundary.
When Starc pitched back of the length, Kohli was quick to open the bat face and dab through third man for four. Australia finally had a wicket in the 79th over when an exhausted Gill was on the backfoot to face a full off-break ball from Lyon. He was trapped right in front of the stumps after being beaten on the inside edge.
With conditions not changing much for batters, Kohli continued to get runs, tucking Lyon through the fine leg to eventually get his fifty in 107 balls and raised his bat for a half-century in Test cricket after 14 months.
Shortly after Australia took the second new ball, Ravindra Jadeja broke the shackles by dancing down the pitch to thump Matthew Kuhnemann for a six over wide long-on, three overs before stumps happened, with India amassing 101 runs from the session.
Brief scores: Australia 480 lead India 289/3 in 99 overs (Shubman Gill 128, Virat Kohli 59 not out; Matthew Kuhnemann 1-43, Todd Murphy 1-45) by 191 runs