Suresh Raina hit a half-century as India continued their efforts to overhaul New Zealand's first-innings total of 365 on day two of the second Test in Bangalore.
Pragyan Ojha completed a five-wicket haul by removing last-man Tim Southee while Zaheer Khan also played his part as the Black Caps lost their final four wickets for just 37 runs in the morning session.
India's innings then began in faltering fashion with Southee removing both Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara cheaply. Further wickets saw the home side perched on 80 for four in the afternoon, but Raina and Virat Kohli joined forces to help steer India to 168 for four at tea.
Ross Taylor's century on Friday had given New Zealand a welcome boost as they looked to erase memories of their humiliating first Test defeat. And resuming on 328 for six, overnight men Kruger van Wyk - who had already passed his half-century - and Doug Bracewell were looking to take the tourists past the 400-run mark.
However, things did not go to plan as first Van Wyk fell to Zaheer for 71, with Raina taking the catch, before a mix-up between Bracewell and Southee saw the former run out also by Zaheer for 43.
With the two dangermen gone, the hosts wasted little time in taking the final two wickets of Jeetan Patel (nought) and Southee (14), who became Ojha's fifth wicket when he was hit on the pads by the spinner.
Any hopes India had of making a flying start soon diminished when Southee struck in the fourth over, removing Gambhir's bails with the opener on two. Pujara fared little better, dismissed for nine after pushing a delivery from Southee to Trent Boult at fine leg.
Virender Sehwag managed to steady things for the hosts for a while, but became the third wicket to fall on 43 when he flicked Bracewell to Daniel Flynn at short mid-wicket. And the same bowler struck again two overs later to remove talisman Sachin Tendulkar, the veteran adding just 17 to India's total before being bowled.
Raina and Kohli brought some much-needed stability, however, with the former smashing eight fours and a six on his way to a quick-fire fifty.
Kohli was more sedate in his approach but still produced four boundaries as the pair injected some life into India's innings. Raina was unbeaten on 51 at the interval with Kohli on 33.
- Suresh Raina
- Tim Southee
- Zaheer Khan
- Virat Kohli