Australia reached to 221 for four at the close of play on the second day of the second Test against India on Thursday after battling their way back into the contest on the back of debutant paceman Josh Hazlewood's five for 68.
India had been looking to drive home their advantage at the Gabba after taking charge on day one in Brisbane but were only able to add 97 runs to their overnight tally before being dismissed for 408 to bring up lunch.
Steve Smith steadied Australia's innings after they lost three wickets in the second session, confirming his fine form with a 10th test half century to add to the unbeaten knocks of 162 and 52 he made in the first Test victory in Adelaide.
The 25-year-old righthander, standing in as skipper for the injured Michael Clarke for the remainder of the series, was 65 not out when stumps were drawn early because of bad light with Mitchell Marsh alongside him on seven.
All-rounder Marsh was unable to field let alone bowl after suffering a hamstring injury on Wednesday, one of a string of Australians who ended the first day of the contest in the treatment room.
Australia needed a good start to day two and Hazlewood, crippled by cramps and forced off the field in mid-over on Wednesday, provided it by having Ajinkya Rahane caught behind for 81 with a peach of a delivery in the third over.
The 23-year-old returned before lunch to break a 57-run partnership between all-rounder Ravi Ashwin (35) and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (33), triggering a collapse which saw the tourists lose their last four wickets for 23 runs.
Six of the India wickets were caught behind, giving Brad Haddin a share of the Australian record for catches by a wicketkeeper in a test innings.
David Warner was the first Australian batsman to fall, getting a top edge to a freakish Umesh Yadav delivery on 29, and Shane Watson followed for 25 when Shikhar Dhawan took a brilliant catch off Ravi Ashwin.
Opener Chris Rogers had just reached his sixth test half century and looked like ushering Australia to the tea break in reasonable shape when he gloved a Yadav ball to wicketkeeper Dhoni for 55.
Smith and Shaun Marsh put together a stand of 87 for the fourth wicket before the latter was caught by Ashwin for 32 to give Yadav his third victim and bring his brother Mitchell to the crease.