India put up a counter-attack through Rishabh Pant as they recovered from the early loss of skipper Ajinkya Rahane to move to 206 for three against Australia at lunch on the fifth day of the third Test here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India need 201 more runs in 62 overs to win this Test.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Pant was undefeated on 73 off 97 deliveries with three sixes and eight fours as he added an unbeaten 104 for the fourth wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (batting 41) in 34.2 overs in the first session.
India had lost Rahane early in only the second over of the day. The stand-in India skipper was caught at short leg off the bowling of Nathan Lyon.
However, his dismissal brought in Pant who was promoted ahead of Hanuma Vihari.
The left-handed batsman, who was hit on the elbow in the first innings by Pat Cummins, survived a caught behind chance off Lyon early, and took the attack to Aussies. He was particularly severe on the Aussie off-spinner.
The series is level at 1-1 with the last match to be played at the Gabba in Brisbane from January 15.
Australia 338 & 312/6 dec vs India 244 & 206/3 (R Pant batting 73, C Pujara batting 41)