All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja took the final Australian wicket within the first half hour of play as Australia were bowled out for 241 in their second innings, nine runs more than their overnight total.
India, thus, need exactly 50 runs to win the first Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Moises Henriques (81 not out) and Nathan Lyon (11) frustrated the Indian bowlers in the third session of Day Four by sharing an unbeaten 57-run last-wicket partnership. India have had problems getting the tail out in the recent past, and a last-wicket 50-plus stand did that reputation no good.
Debutant Henriques would turn out to be Australia's only silver lining in this first Test after he scored a second half-century and denied India an innings victory.
Henriques not only ensured that have to India bat to win the match, but also took the game into a fifth day — a scenario that seemed unlikely at the tea break.
Australia had lost half their side when the two teams took tea. At 128 for five, India would have sensed a win by the end of the day's play as the visitors still trailed by 64 runs.
However, India ensured that the Australians did not extend their lead further on Day Five after Jadeja scalped Lyon in the ninth over of the morning.
Lyon moved forward to play a front-foot defence shot to the left-arm spinner, but the ball bounced higher than he expected, clipped the bat-pad and went to Murali Vijay at short leg.
Brief Scores: Australia 380 and 241 (Moises Henriques 81*, Ed Cowan 32; Ravichandran Ashwin 5 for 90, Ravindra Jadeja 3 for 72) lead India 572 (MS Dhoni 224, Virat Kohli 107, Sachin Tendulkar 81; James Pattinson 5 for 96) by 49 runs.
First Published: February 26, 2013, 9:57 am