INDORE, India (Reuters) -Matt Kuhnemann and Nathan Lyon claimed three wickets apiece to reduce India to 84 for seven on day one of the third test on Wednesday, but Australia would have their own anxiety about batting on a spinner's paradise in Indore.
India, electing to bat, slumped to 45-5 in the first hour at the Holkar Cricket Stadium where the ball turned early and sharply while occasionally keeping low.
All-rounder Axar Patel was batting on six at the lunch break, with Ravichandran Ashwin on one at the other end.
Beaten inside three days both in Nagpur and New Delhi, Australia went into the match without regular skipper Pat Cummins who flew home to be with his ailing mother.
The tourists, who had also lost the services of opener David Warner and quick Josh Hazlewood through injuries, welcomed back left-arm quick Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green.
Australia had a chance to pick up Rohit Sharma's wicket on the first and fourth balls of the test but they opted against challenging the original not-out decisions on both occasions.
Wickets started tumbling after stand-in skipper Steve Smith introduced Kuhnemann, one of the two spinners who made their test debut in this series, in the sixth over.
The left-arm spinner dismissed Rohit (12) stumped and, in his next over, had Shubman Gill caught at slip after the opener's promising start in his first match of the series replacing KL Rahul.
Nathan Lyon then joined the party, dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja in his successive overs. He also picked up the wicket of Shreyas Iyer.
Virat Kohli (22) gamely hung on for a while but Todd Murphy cut short his 62-ball stay with a faster delivery that kept low.
Srikar Bharat hit a six and a four in his 17 before Lyon trapped him lbw.
India enjoy a 2-0 lead in the four-match series for the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
The final test is scheduled in Ahmedabad from March 9.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Himani Sarkar)