Australia have defied an inspired Indian fightback to claim a 48-run lead at stumps on day two of the second Test in Bangalore.

Half-centuries from Shaun Marsh and Matt Renshaw, who both epitomised the tourists' graft on a tense Sunday at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, pushed their side to 237-6 at the end of play.

Billed as a series-defining day after Nathan Lyon claimed eight wickets to spin the hosts out for 189, India rallied for the first time in the four-Test series.

There was no shortage of twists, turns and terse words - especially between opposing skippers Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.

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Australia produced arguably their most-patient batting display in the Twenty20 era, adding 47 runs in the morning session and just 197 for the day.

Smith managed eight runs from 81 minutes at the crease. Marsh and Renshaw each faced almost 200 balls, scoring 66 and 60 respectively.

"That's what it's all about in this Test, just trying to grind it out and try and beat the opposition at the long game," Renshaw said after batting for more than four hours.

"We just needed to bat the whole day and we managed to do that."

Led by chirpy captain Kohli and shrewd spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the hosts ensured runs were at a premium and Renshaw's ears were ringing.

"It was really loud out there," the 20-year-old opener said of Kohli's verbals.

"It's something I'm probably not used to, but it's about embracing different conditions and challenges.

"I was just trying to enjoy it and laugh at what he was saying, because some of it was quite funny.

"He was just reminding me to run off and go to the toilet again, which happened in Pune, so it was quite funny."

Cheteshwar Pujara, who did his best to unsettle Renshaw from short leg, opined there was "always some sledging" in contests between the sides and it was "nothing personal".

The top-ranked Test side could easily have started their second innings by now if not for a handful of reprieves.

Kohli was at first slip when he dropped Renshaw on 29, while he made a couple of indefensible Decision Review System (DRS) blunders.

Marsh was on 44 and Australia still trailed by 14 runs when he unsuccessfully reviewed an lbw dismissal. The following over, Marsh would have been plumb lbw if paceman Ishant Sharma had kept his foot behind the line.

Marsh's impressive innings ended when he needlessly chipped an unthreatening ball to Karun Nair at midwicket.

Renshaw fell when he charged at Jadeja for a third straight ball, prompting the left-arm spinner to spear his delivery down the leg side and have the 20-year-old stumped.

Cracks are already making life very difficult for batsmen. Mitch Marsh was trapped lbw for a duck by a delivery from Sharma that kept low.

"We know that fourth innings is going to be quite hard," Renshaw said.

"Pune we knew was going to spin. This one we don't really know which ones are going to spin, that's probably the hardest challenge."

Australia will retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy if they win the second Test and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

- AAP