Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir struck half-centuries as India rebuilt their innings after early blows on the opening day of the third Test against Australia here on Wednesday.
The pair put on 130 runs for the third wicket to help the home side recover from a shaky 27-2 and reach 158-3 at tea on an easy-paced track at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
Tendulkar made a fine 68 with 11 boundaries before edging behind to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin off Mitchell Johnson (2-44) in the last over before tea.
Gambhir was unbeaten on 67, with eight fours, and Venkatsai Laxman was on one at the break.
Tendulkar, 35, looked in sublime touch during his 124-ball knock. He whipped Cameron White past extra cover and followed it up with a slog sweep over midwicket to force the leg-spinner from the attack.
The star batsman, who surpassed West Indian Brian Lara as Test cricket's top run-scorer in the second Test in Mohali, reached his 51st half-century with a four off Stuart Clark but missed out on the chance to score his 40th ton.
Impeccable off the backfoot, Tendulkar enthralled a sizeable crowd with his imperious pulls and also received good support from Gambhir.
Gambhir notched up his eighth half-century, continuing his fine form from Mohali, where he struck a century in the second innings to set up India's 320-run victory.
The hosts lost in-form opener Virender Sehwag (one) and the usually dependable Rahul Dravid for 11, to be reduced to a shaky 27-2 after Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat.
Sehwag had faced just two balls when he was trapped leg before off Brett Lee (1-43).
Dravid hit Johnson for a four to fine leg but then edged the bowler to Matthew Hayden, celebrating his 37th birthday, in the slips.
Tendulkar walked out to cheers and gave the crowd more to enjoy when he punched one to the point boundary off Johnson to underline his aggressive intent.
Johnson was on the receiving end again when Tendulkar hit him for two fours in an over which included a sizzling square drive off his hips.
Kumble replaced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who failed to recover from a toe injury, in the Indian side, while Australia brought in Clark for Peter Siddle.
India lead the four-Test series 1-0 after their win in Mohali.
The fourth and final Test will be played in Nagpur from Nov 6-10. The opener in Bangalore ended in a draw.