India began the day 182 for three and progressed to 263 for four by the end of the session, 117 runs behind Australia's opening effort of 380 all out.
Tendulkar could only add a tentative 10 to his overnight total of 71 before he was bowled through the gate by off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
His dismissal after a 10-over period of low-scoring and disciplined bowling brought in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose arrival prompted an increase in the run rate as he and Virat Kohli took to the visiting bowling attack.
Kohli launched a Lyons delivery into the stands in the 68th over, before Dhoni found the ropes twice off the same bowler in the 72nd.
Moises Henriques was next to get the treatment as Kohli hit a short wide one through the covers to the boundary before cutting through slips for another four two balls later.
Peter Siddle managed to keep it tight at one end as the session drew to a close, but a couple of boundaries from Dhoni off Lyon in the 78th saw them head into the break with the home side looking comfortable, Dhoni on 37 from 42 balls and Kohli unbeaten on 83.