Piyush Chawla laid bare Australia's utter discomfiture against quality spin bowling as the gingerly visitors faltered their way to 191 for 4 wickets at close on Day 2 of the warm-up match against Board President's XI in Hyderabad on Friday.
The Aussie top-order developed cold feet against Chawla, and their free-scoring flair was non-existent as they finished the day still 264 behind the 455 runs Board President's XI scored in their first essay.
Things could have been worse had Ricky Ponting's men not got at least three leg before wicket reprieves.
Michael Hussey (54), one of the beneficiaries of the reprieves, and Brad Haddin (34) were in the middle when stumps were drawn. The pair has the onerous task of bridging the gap when play resumes on Saturday.
Earlier, Board President's XI added 84 runs to their overnight score of 371 for 6 before folding.
Overnight batsmen Parthiv Patel (62) and Irfan Pathan (56) duly completed their half-centuries before the side lost the last three wickets over a 10-ball span and were 455 all out.
Matthew Hayden (20) led Australia's riposte but was lucky to get a reprieve when umpire Shavir Tarapore turned down Manpreet Gony's appeal for what looked like a plumb leg before dismissal.
Hayden responded by hitting two boundaries off a Pathan over before poking at one, as the left-arm seamer had the last laugh in his duel against him.
Simon Katich (15) similarly benefited from the doubt in umpire Amish Saheba's mind but could make the most of the opportunity and fell to Pragyan Ojha.
Operating in tandem, the spinners stifled the visitors, and Chawla (2/46) did everything to make life miserable for a clueless Ponting.
Ponting stepped out twice to hit Ojha over the long-on ropes and breathe easy, but Chawla ensured he did not bloom.
The leggie bamboozled Ponting with a googly that crashed through the gate and rattled his timbers at the stroke of tea.
Chawla went on to scalp Ponting's deputy as well, trapping Michael Clarke (18) on the other side of the break.
Hussey and Haddin hung around gamely, the former scoring an unbeaten 54 off 136 deliveries, inclusive of seven hits to the fence and a six.
Earlier, with 371 runs behind them and four wickets still in hand, the Indian tail wagged merrily before suddenly collapsing in a heap soon after the new ball was taken.
Stranded one run short of half century, Parthiv Patel (62) duly got to the mark but departed after dragging a Peter Siddle delivery onto his stumps.
Irfan Pathan (56), at the other end, lived dangerously. At least thrice he inside-edged and on all three occasions the ball reached the ropes. Three boundaries off a Brett Lee over took him near the fifty mark and he celebrated it by hitting Stuart Clarke past mid-on.
The new ball was taken soon, and Clarke dismissed Pathan and Ojha (0) with the first and last deliveries of the 108th over before Johnson removed Chawla (24).
For Australia, Mitchell Johnson was the most successful bowler, picking four for 75, while Stuart Clark, who triggered the late collapse with the new ball, scalped three for 67 runs.
Board President's XI (1st innings):
A Chopra lbw b Johnson 25
W Jaffer c Johnson b Clark 19
S Badrinath lbw b Siddle 2
Y Singh c Hussey b Johnson 29
R Sharma c Krejza b Johnson 105
V Kohli lbw b Lee 105
P Patel b Siddle 62
I Pathan c Siddle b Clark 56
P Chawla c Lee b Johnson 23
P Ojha c Hussey b Clark 0
MS Gony not out 0
Extras: (b-5, lb-15, nb-9) 29
Total: (all out in 108.4 overs) 455
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-49, 3-59, 4-120, 5-266, 6-328, 7-403, 8-447, 9-451.
Bowling: B Lee 18-3-61-1, S Clark 18-5-67-3, M Johnson 23.4-4-75-4, P Siddle 18-3-64-2, J Krejza 20-1-123-0,M Clarke 11-0-45-0.
Australia (1st innings):
S Katich c Kohli b Ojha 15
M Hayden c Patel b Pathan 20
R Ponting b Chawla 41
M Hussey not out 54
M Clarke lbw b Chawla 18
B Haddin not out 34.
Extras: (b-4, lb-5) 9
Total: (for 4 wkts in 68 overs) 191
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-54, 3-94, 4-128.
Bowling: I Pathan 17-4-50-1, MS Gony 11-2-37-0, P Ojha 17-3-44-1, P Chawla 21-6-46-2, Yuvraj Singh 2-1-5-0.