Australia have just eight wickets intact in their pursuit of 413 for victory against India after day three of the third Test at the WACA.
VVS Laxman (79) and nightwatchman Irfan Pathan (46) took the visitors to 294 all out in their second innings before Pathan struck twice in the final 15 overs of the day to remove both Australian openers.
Debutant Chris Rogers (15) followed up his miserable first innings showing by edging to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to leave the world's number one team reeling on 21-1.
His partner Phil Jaques swiftly followed with the addition of just 22 runs as Australia closed the day in all sorts of trouble on 65-2.
The highest total ever successfully chased down for victory in the final innings of a Test match is 418 by West Indies against Australia in 2003, which gives an idea of the scale of the task facing the hosts, still hoping for a record 17th consecutive Test victory.
Resuming the day on 52-1, Virender Sehwag made 43 runs before Stuart Clark managed to nip one between the Indian opener's bat and pad and the experienced middle order then went on to contribute just 16 runs from the bat.
Rahul Dravid (three) gloved a sharp Brett Lee delivery behind to Adam Gilchrist to start the slump before Sachin Tendulkar (13) was trapped lbw on the crease by the fired-up seamer.
And Sourav Ganguly then went for a duck through a combination of Mitchell Johnson and Michael Clarke. Pathan's resistance was soon ended as well after lunch as he became Clark's third victim of the day.
But Laxman and Dhoni's 75-run seventh-wicket partnership steadied the ship as India began to take the game away from the world champions.
All-rounder Andrew Symonds ended the stand by luring Dhoni (38) into an attempted sweep, which ballooned up in the air for Gilchrist to take a sprawling catch.
Despite Anil Kumble then going for a duck, RP Singh added 30 runs at number 10 and Laxman's edge behind completed India's innings.
Australia closed the day with Michael Hussey and skipper Ricky Ponting unbeaten in a stand of 22 and could do with major contributions from the pair if they are to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat.