Melbourne, Australia: Virat Kohli brought up an enterprising half century to lead India's defiant chase of Australia's massive first-innings total of 530 on the third day of the third test Sunday.
Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane shared an unbeaten 77 -run, fourth-wicket partnership to overcome the loss of two early wickets and lead India to 224-3 at lunch, trailing Australia by 306.
Ryan Harris (2-40) gave Australia a perfect start by dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara for his overnight score of 25 off the second ball of the day, thanks to an athletic, one-handed catch by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
Shane Watson (1-25) soon after claimed the important wicket of opener Murali Vijay, caught at backward point by Shaun Marsh for 68.
Kohli and Rahane then aggressively took up the challenge of steadying the innings.
Kohli timed eight boundaries to be unbeaten on 60 at lunch with Rahane, who smashed 43 not out off 45 balls with five fours.
The Australian pacemen looked in ominous form early in the day as they bowled tight line and length while attempting to wring any possible movement from a placid Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket.
But the batsmen remained composed and scored increasingly freely as they were determined to make the most of the favorable wicket.
India started the day at 108-1 after losing Shikhar Dhawan to a Steven Smith catch at third slip off Harris on Saturday.
Smith earlier fell just eight runs short of a double century to help lead Australia to its daunting total. It was the Australia captain's third century of the series and seventh of his test career. On the way he also passed hard-hitting opener David Warner as Australia's highest test scorer of 2014 with 1,132 runs.
Australia can clinch the four-test series and reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy with a win or draw in Melbourne after a 48-run win in the first test and a four-wicket victory last week in the second test at Brisbane.