Australia captain Pat Cummins dismissed opposing skipper Rohit Sharma as India lost both their openers cheaply on the second day of the World Test Championship final at The Oval on Thursday.
India were 37-2 in reply to Australia's first-innings 469 at tea, with senior batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli at the crease.
Rohit had made a superb 127 against England at the Oval two years ago but on Thursday he was plumb lbw for 15 to a full-length ball from Cummins.
Four balls later India were 30-2 when Shubman Gill, fresh from the Indian Premier League, was bowled for 13 playing no shot to first-change Scott Boland after being deceived by a sharp off-cutter.
Earlier, Mohammed Siraj led an India fightback as they finally dismissed Australia centurions Travis Head and Steve Smith.
India were facing a potentially huge Australian first-innings total with Smith (121) and Head (163) at the crease.
But their pacemen struck as Australia lost four wickets for 41 runs, including Head and Smith, to slip from 361-3 to 402-7.
India bowled out Australia after lunch, fast bowler Siraj leading the way with 4-108 from 28.3 overs.
Smith, 95 not out overnight, reached three figures in the opening over on Thursday, joining compatriot Steve Waugh on seven Test hundreds in England.
Among non-England batsman, only Australia great Don Bradman, with 11 centuries, has scored more.
It was also Smith's third Test century at The Oval and 31st in total, leaving him 12th on the all-time list.
Head extended his first overseas Test century to 150 but a short ball proved his undoing when he tried to whip Siraj legside and gloved a simple catch to wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat.
Head's dismissal ended an impressive stand of 285 runs with Smith after they had come together with Australia in trouble at 76-3.
Soon afterwards there was another wicket for an India-dominated crowd to celebrate at a sun-drenched Oval when Cameron Green (six) edged a drive off Mohammed Shami, bowling from wide of the crease, and Gill held a sharp chance at second slip.
Shardul Thakur then captured the prized wicket of Smith, who inside-edged an outswinger into his stumps, with India suddenly into Australia's tail.
Alex Carey kept India at bay with 48 before he was lbw trying to reverse-sweep Ravindra Jadeja, the lone spinner in the attack.
Siraj wrapped up the innings by dismissing tailenders Nathan Lyon and Cummins.
The WTC is the only major men's cricket trophy Australia have yet to win.
India are appearing in their second WTC final, having lost to New Zealand in the inaugural 2021 showpiece match in Southampton.