Matt Renshaw proved he has the stomach for a fight by making a mature half-century after retiring due to illness and Mitchell Starc's late onslaught gave Australia hope on day one of the first Test against India in Pune.
There was confusion when Renshaw walked off 15 minutes before lunch after the impressive Umesh Yadav (4-32) dismissed David Warner to end an opening stand of 82.
It transpired that the 20-year-old had been struggling with an upset stomach, but he returned to top score with an assured 68 in tricky conditions before India took the upper hand in the first ever Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2-59) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-74) took two wickets apiece on a pitch which turned sharply all day, but Starc smashed an unbeaten 57 from only 58 balls in an unbroken stand of 51 to see Australia through to 256-9 at stumps.
Australia, who dropped Usman Khawaja and included brothers Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, got off to a promising start after Steve Smith won the toss against an India side unbeaten in 19 Tests.
Renshaw edged the first ball of the day from Ishant Sharma to the third-man boundary and Ashwin was unable to make early inroads after being handed the new ball.
Warner had a stroke of luck when Jayant Yadav cleaned him up on 20, but the off-spinner over-stepped by a long way and the ball disappeared to the fence to add insult to injury.
Renshaw used his feet well in his first Test innings overseas and smashed Jadeja over midwicket for six after the half-century stand was brought up, but both openers were in the pavilion prior to lunch.
Warner played on to an Umesh delivery and Renshaw decided he could not continue, ensuring it was not such a bad morning for India and the momentum was with the top-ranked team in the afternoon session.
Shaun Marsh (16) attempted a sweep but gloved Jayant to Virat Kohli at leg slip and Peter Handscomb (22) failed to build on a start.
Smith (27) gave it away when he tamely chipped Ashwin to Kohli, but Renshaw did not appear to be under the weather following his return as he played expansively and was rewarded with a second Test half-century.
There was no second Test hundred for the young opener, though, and Australia were in trouble on 196-7 after he departed following the dismissals of Mitchell Marsh (4) and Matthew Wade (8).
Umesh was on a hat-trick after removing Steve O'Keefe - courtesy of a magnificent Wriddhiman Saha catch - and Nathan Lyon without scoring, but Starc set about frustrating India by playing in one-day mode.
Josh Hazlewood scored just one and was happy to watch on at the other end as left-arm quick Starc cleared the ropes three times and passed 1,000 Test runs to provide late cheer for the tourists at the close.