Things got testy as David Warner was bowled by express paceman Varun Aaron for 66, only to be recalled when replays showed that Aaron had sent down a no-ball.
Aaron gave Warner a vocal send-off, but the opener returned serve when he was recalled to the crease.
Shane Watson, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan all joined in, exchanging terse words before umpire Ian Gould eventually calmed the two sides down.
At tea, Australia had extended their lead to 212 runs and were 139 for one with first-innings century-maker Warner on 69 and Watson not out 33.
For the first time in the four-match series, relations became strained between the two teams as the Australians began to take charge after dismissing the tourists for 444 before lunch to take a 73-run lead.
The Australians only lost the wicket of Chris Rogers for 21, caught at mid-wicket by Rohit Sharma off leg-spinner Karn Sharma in the 13th over.
Warner, who hit 145 in the first innings, again looked a thorn for the Indians, who were jubilant when Aaron scattered his stumps in the 34th over, only to have their hopes dashed by the realisation it was a no-ball.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon claimed his sixth five-wicket Test haul to bowl Australia into a handy lead over India in the extended morning session.
Lyon captured five for 134 off 36 overs to help dismiss the tourists for 444 and trail Australia by 73 runs in the first innings with more than five sessions to play.
India unravelled after resuming at 369 for five and lost five wickets for 75 on the fourth morning, with Lyon leading the way with his unpredictable turn out of the bowlers’ footmarks.
Lyon, coming off a poor series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates where he captured three Test wickets at an average of 140, thanked India paceman Ishant Sharma for creating demons in the Adelaide Oval pitch.
“It’s pretty easy, we had big Ishant running down the middle of the wicket (in Australia’s first innings),” Lyon said after Thursday’s third day’s play.
“I’m thankful for him making some footmarks. Hopefully, he does it the whole series.”
Lyon’s spin threat on the deteriorating Adelaide drop-in pitch raises the prospect of further success in India’s second innings later in the Test match.
It was an outstanding piece of cricket by Lyon that triggered the breakthrough 47 minutes into the morning session when he brilliantly caught Rohit Sharma for 43 off his own bowling.
Lyon dived across the pitch and snapped up a two-handed catch just off the ground to dismiss Sharma and enable the Australians to expose the Indian tail. – AFP