India fought back on the first day of the final test against Sri Lanka to be 247-6 at stumps.
Sri Lanka, searching for its first Test victory on Indian soil, had been well on top at the tea interval, reducing the home side to 125-5.
Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets for the day and Lasith Malinga took two as India's top order batsmen were sent packing.
Off-spinner Muralitharan took the crucial wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (23), who was caught at short-leg.
But the undefeated VVS Laxman scored 71 and was aided by the in form Mahendra Dhoni with 49 as India clawed its way back.
India is protecting a 1-0 lead in the three Test series, and is without gastro victim Rahul Dravid - whose run of 94 consecutive Tests since 1996 was ended.
Sri Lanka entered the match without Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando, who are flu-ridden.
The returning Virender Sehwag took charge of India in Dravid's absence and had no hesitation in deciding to bat first after winning the toss.
He and Gautum Gambhir batted aggressively to being the innings, which was delayed for an hour because of heavy dew.
Malinga dismissed Gambhir after India's opener played a short ball outside off-stump and was caught at mid-wicket.
It became 2-52 when Malinga bowled a quick delivery which got through the stand-in captain Sehwag's defences and took out his stumps.
Muralitharan then had Tendulkar caught by Jehan Mubarak off the India maestro's glove.
Tendulkar's scalp was the first of three wickets to fall in quick succession as Yuvraj Singh edged a Muralitharan ball to slip and Kaif pulled leg-spinner Malinga Bhandara straight to Marvan Atapattu who took the catch.