Ben Hilfenhaus took five wickets including the last scalp of R Ashwin (62) as India were bowled out for 400 runs in their second innings.
Australia were just one wicket away from an innings victory as Nathan Lyon trapped Ishant Sharma plumb in front of the wicket soon after R Ashwin’s fifty.
Staring at an innings defeat, India were 351/8 in their second innings at tea.
India lost their eighth wicket when Peter Siddle had Zaheer Khan caught by Shaun Marsh, who took a fine tumbling catch over his head in the covers. Zaheer hit 35 from 26 balls with the help of a six and 5 fours.
India lost Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, captain MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli in quick succession.
James Pattinson got his first wicket when he trapped Kohli plumb in front of the wicket with a full straight delivery that Kohli tried to get across and flick but missed. The ball stayed low as well and hit him right in front.
Ben Hilfenhaus took his fourth wicket by dismissing Dhoni taking an easy return catch. Dhoni looked to drive the full delivery but hit it back without control. It lobbed up to Hilfenhaus who took it easily. It initially seemed as if it was a bump ball as Hilfenhaus did not celebrate, but the slip cordon came haring down in celebration. The on-field umpires referred to the third umpire and the replays showed that the ball came directly off the face of the bat towards the bowler.
Hilfenhaus dismissed Laxman with the second new ball that was pitched full just outside off and moved away just a touch. Laxman was squared up in defense and the ball went past the bat’s edge to clip the off-stump leaving Laxman stunned.
Laxman hit 7 fours in his 66-run knock.
Tendulkar missed his 100th ton yet again as Australian captain Michael Clarke had him caught by Michael Hussey at first slip for 80.
Clarke tossed up a delivery outside off, Tendulkar came forward to defend but the ball spun away and took the outside edge, it went to Brad Haddin who was slow in getting up, but such was the luck for Tendulkar that the ball went off Haddin’s gloves towards Hussey at first slip.
The moment Tendulkar’s wicket fell there was stunned silence at the SCG and one could hear only Haddin and Hussey screaming in delight. Then the crowd gave the master a standing ovation as he departed for a wonderful 80.
Tendulkar hit 9 fours and added 104 runs with VVS Laxman for the fourth wicket.
India lost Gautam Gambhir in the first session.
Laxman scored a 92-ball 50 soon after lunch, which included six fours, to take India past the 250-run mark.
India, resumed at 114/2 on Friday, lost overnight batsman Gambhir (83) but scored 129 runs off 27 overs during the two-hour session.
Tendulkar hit a fighting half-century to lead India’s battle alongwith VVS Laxman against the Aussies. Tendulkar’s fifty came in 89 balls with the help of seven boundaries.
Earlier in the day, seamer Peter Siddle, who replaced Ben Hilfenhaus, gave Australia a crucial breakthrough as he got rid of Gambhir.
Gambhir, who scored 83 of 142 balls with the help of 11 fours, tried to play the shot on the on-side but it took the leading edge which was well caught by David Warner at point.
Gambhir and Tendulkar added 68 runs for the third wicket.
The conditions were little overcast on Day 4 due to some showers on Thursday evening but the weather is perfectly fine for the game of cricket at the SCG.
India, who have never won a Test series in Australia, reached third day stumps at 114 for two, 354 behind, with Gautam Gambhir on 68 and Sachin Tendulkar eight.
Earlier on the third day of the Test, Indian opener Virender Sehwag (4) and an uncertain Rahul Dravid (29) were cooling their heels in the pavilion, which raises the possibility of an innings defeat in the match.
Michael Hussey remained unbeaten on 150 but the glory of the day belonged to Australian skipper Michael Clarke who was left unconquered on 329, the highest score ever made at the SCG, which is hosting its 100th Test.
Triple centurion Michael Clarke put team interests ahead of personal glory as Australia moved towards a crushing win over India in the second Test.
Captain Clarke, unbeaten on 329, declared Australia’s first innings closed at 659 for four to press for victory – despite various individual milestones beckoning.
After building a massive 468-run lead, Clarke called a halt to the onslaught to give his attack seven and a half sessions to bowl India out.
He was rewarded with the key wickets of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid as the tourists dug in to save going 2-0 down in the four-Test series.
India had an early stumble when big-hitter Sehwag was brilliantly plucked from the air by the athletic David Warner at point off Ben Hilfenhaus for four.
Dravid’s reputation as “The Wall” took another hit when he was out bowled for the third time in the series, this time by Hilfenhaus for 29.
Gambhir was lucky enough to survive after he was dropped by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin on 66 off James Pattinson in the penultimate over of the day.
Clarke’s score is the fourth highest score by an Australian in Test cricket, behind Matthew Hayden (380), Sir Donald Bradman (334) and Mark Taylor (334).
This was the 25th instance of a triple century in Test cricket. Only Bradman, Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle are the four batsmen who have hit triple century twice in Tests.