Australia are poised for their first Test win since the ball-tampering scandal after spinner Nathan Lyon claimed the prized wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli in the second Test in Perth on Monday.
Set 287 to win on an unpredictable pitch, India were reduced to 112 for five at stumps on the fourth day.
Hanuma Vihari was 24 not out and Rishabh Pant was on nine.
The visitors still needed 175 to win with just five wickets in hand as Australia seek to level the four-Test series and claim their first Test win since beating South Africa at St George's Park in March.
Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood said the home team were excited by the chance of an overdue victory on the fifth day.
India lead 1-0 after victory in Adelaide, but have never won a Test series in Australia. The loss of Kohli appeared a fatal blow to their chances of a famous win.
Lyon dismissed Kohli for the seventh time in Test cricket, two more than any other bowler, when he had him caught at slip by Usman Khawaja for 17.
His departure was the cause of great delight for Australian captain Tim Paine, after the pair had exchanged words at the conclusion of the third day.
The Australian wicketkeeper, looking for his first win as skipper in five Tests since taking over from the disgraced Steve Smith, celebrated the dismissal with a cheeky comment to not out batsman Murali Vijay.
"Murali, I know he's your captain, but you can't seriously like him as a bloke," Paine said, in comments picked up by microphone.
Just two overs later Vijay was also on his way back to the pavilion, bowled off an inside edge by Lyon, who took two for 30.
The pair of wickets continued a fine match for Lyon, who picked up five in the Indian first innings to move into the top 25 all-time Test wicket-takers, currently on 333.
After Australia lost their last six wickets for 51 runs to be dismissed for 243, with Mohammed Shami claiming a career-best 6-56, India made a disastrous start to their run chase just before tea.
SCORES IN BRIEF
AUSTRALIA: First innings 326
INDIA: First innings 283
AUSTRALIA: Second innings 243 all out (Harris 20. Finch 25 rtd hurt, Khawaja 72, Paine 37; Bumrah 3-39, Shami 6-56)
INDIA: Second innings 112 for 5 (Vijay 20, Rahane 30, Kohli 17, Vihari 24 not out; Hazlewood 2-24, Lyon 2-30)