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Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir increased India's commanding lead to 301 at stumps Sunday on the third day of the second Test after legspinner Amit Mishra took 5-71 on his debut to help dismiss Australia for 268.
India raced to 100-0 in its second innings after declining to bowl again when Australia finished two runs short of the total needed to automatically avoid the follow-on.
Australia's day got worse when Sehwag brought up his half-century in the second last over, scoring 53 from 71 balls. Gambhir kept pace with Sehwag and collected 45 as the hosts attempted to set up a match-winning total.
Australia relied on 78 from Shane Watson for cutting the first-innings deficit to 201 when the situation could have been much worse.
Watson, appearing in his fifth Test, looked the most comfortable of Australia's batsmen with 10 fours and a six from his 156-ball knock.
His only mistake came when he played back to Mishra — who was in the team to replace the injured Anil Kumble — and was struck on the pad in front. Mishra got his fifth wicket when last man Peter Siddle was stumped but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni chose to bat again to give his bowlers a rest.
Mishra, who dismissed Michael Clarke and Simon Katich on day two, deserved his impressive return from 26.4 overs and became the sixth India bowler to collect five wickets in his first game.
Support came from paceman Ishant Sharma, who had 2-68, and offspinner Harbhajan Singh's 2-60 off 25.
After surviving a close lbw appeal on 39, Watson smashed Mishra over the boundary and then pulled Sharma for four to bring up his 50 from 102 balls.
Watson was unable to find a solid partner until Brett Lee arrived to help the side out of the poor position of 167-7 before lunch.
Lee, who was hit on the back by a bouncer from Sharma, hit some fierce straight drives in a lively innings of 35, which ended when he edged Harbhajan to Rahul Dravid at slip.
All the runs were crucial for Australia, which resumed the morning on 102-4, in its push to get as close as possible to India's first-innings total of 469.
The partnership also meant Australia moved nearer to 270 and the mark at which it would avoid the possibility of following on.
Mishra claimed his third wicket of the innings before lunch when Cameron White misread a delivery and was bowled for 5. White's dismissal came after Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin had also departed in the first session.
Hussey brought up his half-century with a hook to fine-leg, but he was dismissed two balls later when he nicked a delivery angling across him from Sharma. He spent 119 balls fighting over his 54 and his loss was a big blow for Australia.
Sixteen runs later Haddin (9) lost his off-stump attempting a big drive off a well flighted offspinner from Harbhajan.