With India in trouble at 12 for two, in response to Australia's first-innings score of 380, the veteran batsman scored a superb unbeaten 71 - from 128 balls and including six fours - as the tourists finished on 182 for three, leaving the match evenly poised with three days remaining.
The early wickets of Murali Vijay (10) and Virender Sehwag (two) heaped the pressure on Tendulkar, with Australia paceman Pattinson (three for 25 off six overs) doing the early damage.
Pattinson removed Vijay when he inside-edged a full ball onto leg stump, while Sehwag fell in bizarre fashion, with the batsman's inside edge bouncing into the pitch and looping up before it crashed into leg stump to spark wild celebrations amongst the Australians.
Tendulkar started by hitting three of his first four deliveries for boundaries. Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara (44) steadied the ship with a 93-run partnership for the third wicket before Pattinson struck again.
This time he bowled a brilliant off-cutter which beat the gap between Pujara's bat and pad with ease before crashing into off and middle stump. But Tendulkar joined forces with Virat Kohli (50 not out) to guide India to a good position at stumps.
Left-armer Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon bowled the bulk of the Australia overs while paceman Peter Siddle was also unsuccessful. Moises Henriques and Michael Clarke were also used by the tourists.
Earlier, Australia resumed on 316 for seven, with captain Clarke 103 not out, and they quickly set about increasing their lead. Siddle - who faced 94 balls for his 19 runs - held up an end as the tourists pushed past 350.
Clarke was given his second reprieve of the innings when, on 128, Pujara spilled a tough chance at mid-off from the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja. But the gritty 54-run partnership, which took exactly 29 overs to compile, came to an end four overs later when the former holed out to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at mid-off.
Jadeja got his man and Harbhajan Singh made his first breakthrough in his 100th Test in the next over when Siddle edged to Sehwag at slip. Pattinson (15 not out) and Lyon (three) added a further 16 runs in 12 overs for the final wicket before their resistance was finally broken, fittingly by R Ashwin who ended with figures of seven for 103.