Resuming at overnight score of 189 for two, it was slow progress for the Aussies as they added just 42 runs in 24 overs in the pre-lunch session in reply to India's first innings score of 441.
At the break, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke on 1 were at the crease.
Australia should have been three down in the second over itself as Simon Katich was let off by Rahul Dravid who dropped a straight forward catch at first slip off Ishant Sharma. Katich was on 94 with the team total reading 193 for two at that time.
Hussey steered Zaheer Khan to the third man boundary to reach his half century and raised the team's 200 in the process.
Hussey reached his 50 after facing 116 balls and had five hits to the fence.
Soon Katich also reached his century with an identical steer to third man of Zaheer to bring up his fifth Test century. His century came after a stay of 139 balls and was studded with nine hits to the fence.
Indian captain, who opened with pacers Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma this morning, gave his pacers extended spells as the Indian pace duo bowled on and around the off stump to stop the flow of runs and asked the Ausssies to take the risks if they wanted to win the Test series.
In the first hour the visitors made just 25 runs in 12 overs.
Katich was once again lucky when Ishant Sharma again found the edge of his bat only to see the ball fall short of VVS Laxman at second slip with the Australian opener on 102 and the team total on 214 for two.
Dhoni introduced spin in the form of Harbhajan Singh in the 18th over of the day and he immediately had the batsman in trouble with his first ball getting the inside edge of Michael Hussey but falling short of forward short leg.
Zaheer Khan finally got the breakthrough India were looking for when he had Simon Katich trapped in front with a swinging yorker length delivery which thudded into the pads of Katich with the batsmen in front of the wicket.
Katich made 102 after facing 189 balls with the help of nine fours.
Michael Clarke then joined Hussey and the two took Australia to lunch without any further loss.