Seamer Stuart Clark struck twice in 10 balls to give Australia the momentum with the coveted wicket of Sachin Tendulkar on the second day of the first cricket Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Clark removed Tendulkar just when the 'The Little Master' was in ominous touch and followed up with the dismissal of Yuvraj Singh to have the tourists reeling at tea.
At tea, India were 122 for five and trailing Australia's first innings total of 343 by 221 runs.
Tendulkar was in his pomp, caressing drives and cuts for boundaries and hoisting leg-spinner Brad Hogg for a huge six before he was bowled playing on to Clark for 62 nearing tea.
Tendulkar slowly left the arena to sustained applause from the Australian crowd and with him India's chances dimmed of overhauling Australia's first innings total.
Singh was out in Clark's final over before tea, edging to Adam Gilchrist for a duck. Clark had the figures of 3-15 off 10.4 overs at the interval.
Tendulkar was a delight for the MCG crowd after India's top three batsmen were bogged down by accurate Australian bowling and tight fielding. His knock came off 77 balls with eight boundaries and a six.
Lee blasted out V.V.S. Laxman, who averages almost 60 playing in Australia, for 26 in the 31st over when he gloved a catch to Ponting running in from second slip as he tried to avoid a vicious rearing delivery.
Laxman's departure left India at a snail-paced 55 for three off 31 overs.
Lee captured his 249th Test wicket and become the sixth all-time leading Australian wicket-taker passing leg-spinner Richie Benaud.
Australia's new-ball pair Lee and Mitchell Johnson pinned down the Indian openers Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid before Lee coaxed an edge off Jaffer (4) to Adam Gilchrist in the ninth over of the innings.
Dravid's torturous innings of five off 66 balls ended when Clark trapped him leg before wicket on the third-last ball of the morning session.
Dravid, known as 'The Wall', laboured for 41 balls to get off the mark after having two near-misses.
He was dropped in a one-handed chance at fourth slip by Phil Jaques off Johnson and was caught at first slip off a Johnson no-ball.
In the first 14 overs India scored just 13 runs before Lee (1-10 off seven overs) and Johnson (0-3 off 7 overs) finished their opening spells.
Australia's last-wicket pair lasted 16 balls on the second morning and added six runs to their overnight score of 337 before Clark was out hooking paceman Zaheer Khan.
Zaheer peppered Clark with four short-pitched deliveries before Clark launched into a hook and was caught on the fine leg boundary rope by Harbhajan Singh to end Australia's innings. Johnson remained unbeaten on 15.
Zaheer finished with 4-94 off 23.4 overs while skipper Anil Kumble took 5-84 off 25 overs.