Virat Kohli upstaged his more esteemed team mates with India's first century of the series but the tourists were still bowled out for 272 after tea on the third day of the fourth test against Australia on Thursday.

Australia, who made 604 for seven declared in their first innings, decided to bat again despite having the option of forcing the Indians, who trailed by 332 runs, to follow on on a good batting track at the Adelaide Oval.

Peter Siddle took five wickets for 49 runs, including two in successive balls, and Ben Hilfenhaus chipped in with three for 62, including Kohli's to end his innings at 116, as Australia's pacemen once again dominated the Indian batsmen.

Destined to lose the series after humbling defeats in the first three tests, India lost Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman before lunch on another sweltering morning in South Australia.

Kohli put on 114 for the sixth wicket with Wriddhiman Saha and the pair almost made it unscathed through the second session before the stand-in wicketkeeper was bowled by Ryan Harris for 35 to bring up the tea break.

The 23-year-old Kohli, under pressure for his place in the side until he hit 129 runs over two innings in Perth, flirted with calamity on 99 before claiming his first century in his eighth test with two runs through the covers.

By then, however, Siddle had removed Ravi Ashwin (5) lbw and Zaheer Khan, caught behind for a golden duck, to set up hat-trick delivery which Ishant Sharma defended well.

Sharma lasted 22 balls and had made 16 runs when Hilfenhaus hit his off stump with a fine delivery and the dependable quick returned with a full toss that trapped Kohli leg before.

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting hit double centuries in Australia's first innings tally on Wednesday and there was much anticipation that India's batsmen would finally fire in perfect batting conditions on another hot day at the Adelaide Oval

Tendulkar's 24th attempt to secure his 100th international century attracted a bumper crowd to one of cricket's most picturesque venues on the Australia Day holiday but he had made just 25 runs when Siddle struck for the first time.

The ever-willing Australian quick's full delivery drew Tendulkar forward and the ball flashed off the bat to allow Ponting to take a low catch at second slip.

Siddle, who has been a revelation in this series, struck again in his next over to remove Gambhir for 34 with a brutish bouncer that came off the batsman's bat and shoulder before looping into the air for a diving Mike Hussey to catch.

Laxman, once the nemesis of Australian bowling, lasted until just before lunch before he suffered yet another failure on the tour when Nathan Lyon induced him into edging the ball through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 18.