India paceman Mohammed Siraj dismissed danger man Marnus Labuschagne to secure his maiden wicket on debut as the tourists maintained the pressure on Australia on day one of the second test on Saturday.
Australia, who won the series-opener in Adelaide, were 136 for five at tea, having failed to make hay after winning the toss on a glorious day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
All-rounder Cameron Green was six not out, with captain Tim Paine yet to score.
Overlooked in the morning, Siraj struck Labuschagne on the helmet half an hour into his first spell, then returned to dismiss the number three batsman for 48 shortly before tea.
Jasprit Bumrah took his second wicket of the match earlier in the session, removing Travis Head for 38 to break an 86-run partnership with Labuschagne after Australia resumed on 65 for three.
Having dominated the morning, with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin taking two wickets and removing Steve Smith for a duck, India took their foot off the home side’s throat in a meandering hour before Bumrah’s intervention just after drinks.
The pace spearhead coaxed Head into wafting at a wider delivery, with the edge flying to the gully where stand-in captain Rahane took a fine catch.
Siraj, still mourning the death of his father last month, had Labuschagne flick a catch to debutant Shubman Gill at leg gully.
He came within inches of a second wicket soon after when he rapped Paine on the pads. India’s lbw appeal was turned down and their review was unsuccessful, despite the tracking technology showing the ball clipping leg stump.
Ashwin, Rahane’s first bowling change, had made an immediate impact in the morning, removing Matthew Wade for 30 in his second over and having Smith edge to leg slip on his eighth ball faced.
It was Smith’s first duck in a test since he was dismissed lbw by Keshav Maharaj in defeat to South Africa in Perth in 2016.
Trailing 1-0 in the four-match series after being dismissed for 36 in a calamitous defeat in Adelaide, India began life without skipper Virat Kohli, who has returned home for the birth of his first child, on a positive note.
Bumrah got the tourists off to a flying start, having opener Joe Burns caught behind for an uneasy 10-ball duck in his second over.
Makeshift opener Wade survived an early nick to the slips off Umesh Yadav but ended up throwing away his wicket with a foolhardy attack on Ashwin, sending a top edge skywards.
Recalled all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja clattered into debutant Shubman Gill as he took the catch.
India lost a review trying to remove Labuschagne lbw and the batsman overturned another lbw decision on review in the last over before lunch, with Ashwin finding his pads.
Australia were unchanged from Adelaide, but India made four changes including two debutants in Gill and Mohammed Siraj.
Gill replaced opening batsman Prithvi Shaw, with paceman Siraj replacing the injured Mohammed Shami. Pant also came in for wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, with Jadeja recalled as another slow bowling option