Paceman Umesh Yadav claimed four wickets on a pitch that offered big turn to help India restrict Australia to 256 for nine after the touring side had made a solid start on the opening day of the four-match series on Thursday.
Paceman Mitchell Starc, who would be expected by Australia to play a role similar to that of Umesh with the ball, smashed an unbeaten 57 to frustrate the hosts and take his team past 250.
Earlier, David Warner made 38 and added 82 for the first wicket with Matt Renshaw after captain Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat against a spin-heavy India.
Smith said he expected turn from the very first ball on the dry pitch at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in the Western Indian city of Pune, a venue making its debut as a test centre.
India captain Virat Kohli appeared to agree with his counterpart, bringing on spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin, the top-ranked test bowler, in just the second over of the day.
After four overs from paceman Ishant Sharma, Kohli opted to utilise spin from both ends when he brought on Jayant Yadav against the left-handed duo.
The sparse crowd thought Jayant had bowled Warner around his legs for 20, but the off-spinner had overstepped the crease and it was called a no-ball.
Line-ups for the first Test between India and Australia on Thursday in Pune, India
Australia won toss and decided to bat
India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma
Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood
Referees: Richard Kettleborough (Umpire), Nigel Llong (Umpire), Richard Illingworth (TV umpire), Chris Broad (Match referee)