Australia crumbled after opener David Warner was dismissed for 180 as India's pace attack finally stood up in the third test and bowled the hosts out for 369 to bring up tea on the second day on Saturday.
Australia, already 2-0 up in the four-match series, secured a first-innings lead of 208 but will have been hoping to have done better after dominating the opening day to bowl India out for 161 and resuming on 149 without loss.
After labouring on another hot morning at the WACA until an hour before lunch, Umesh Yadav took five for 93, Ishant Sharma accounted for Warner, Zaheer Khan pitched in with two wickets and debutant R Vinay Kumar got his maiden test victim.
It could have been even better for the tourists had Virat Kohli not dropped a simple catch in the slips when Warner, who hit the quickest century by an opening batsman in 69 balls on Friday, was on 126.
As it was, Warner, showing only flashes of the swashbuckling brilliance he displayed on Friday, was allowed to reach his first test 150 before holing out 20 runs shy of a double century.
The 25-year-old lefthander hit a spectacular six through extra cover, his fifth of the innings, and two balls later grabbed his 20th four with the crispest of cuts.
Another two balls on, however, and Warner sent a Sharma delivery into the sky towards long on and Yadav got himself under it to take the catch, bringing an end to the innings after 261 minutes and just 159 balls.
Yadav had already separated the two Australian openers when he bowled Ed Cowan for 74 with 214 runs on the board in the hour before lunch.
Shaun Marsh came for a brief cameo but managed just 11 runs on his home ground before he nicked the ball to a diving VVS Laxman at second slip with Yadav again claiming the wicket.
Ricky Ponting, coming off his first test century in two years in the Sydney test, had made seven runs when Yadav removed his middle stump.
Warner went next and after his departure the wickets fell rapidly with the final six tumbling for just 79 runs.
Both captain Michael Clarke, who hit an unbeaten 329 in the Sydney test, and Brad Haddin were caught behind off Zaheer in quick succession for 18 and a duck respectively.
Western Australian Mike Hussey, another centurian in Sydney, was Vinay Kumar's first test wicket for 14 and Peter Siddle grabbed a handy 30 before Yadav took out his off stump.
Ryan Harris (nine) and Ben Hilfenhaus (six) could do little to extend the tail, the former giving Yadav his fifth wicket and the latter falling to Virender Sehwag's occasional spin.