First Test evenly poised as India take slender lead over Australia

Australia are locked in an absorbing battle with India at Adelaide Oval, where the tourists claimed a first-innings lead of 15 runs in the first Test despite the best efforts of hometown hero Travis Head and tailender Nathan Lyon.

Head shared a 27-run stand with Mitchell Starc then a 31-run partnership with Lyon, threatening to overhaul India's first-innings total of 250.

But the hosts were rolled for 235 during the morning session on a rain-hit third day of the contest, prompting jubilant celebrations from Virat Kohli.

Wet weather has delayed the start of India's second innings and prompted officials to call lunch. Umpires hope to resume play this afternoon.

Australia's first innings ended when Head and Josh Hazlewood were dismissed with consecutive balls, the former falling for 72 after facing 167 deliveries while rescuing Australia.

Head added 11 runs to his overnight score and faced only 18 balls on Saturday, when Starc and Lyon instead did the bulk of the work as the scoreboard kept ticking over.

Lyon finished 24 not out, with the highlight being a hooked six off a Mohammed Shami bouncer.

Australia resumed at 7-191 when play belatedly started on Saturday, 45 minutes after the scheduled time.

The next delay lasted about an hour and came after the dismissal of Starc left Australia at 8-204, 46 runs behind India.

The home side had crashed to 4-87 on Friday and missed a golden chance to hammer home their ascendancy.

India appeal against Australia's Peter Handscomb
India appeal against Australia's Peter Handscomb Source: Associated Press