Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade conceded day three of the first Test in Chennai was a "learning curve" for Australia.

An unbeaten 206 not out from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and 107 from batsman Virat Kohli powered India to 515 for eight - for a healthy lead of 135 - at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

Spinner Nathan Lyon copped the brunt of Dhoni's and Kohli's dominance, conceding a hefty 182 runs from his 40 overs. The right-handed Dhoni was particularly impressive, lacing 22 fours and all of five sixes en route to the highest score of his Test career.

"Dhoni played brilliantly and it was unbelievable. Most of the younger players are in the sub-continent for the first time and we can learn a lot from the way the Indian batsmen played," said Wade.

"If we can take anything about the day, the last part of the innings and the partnership, there are runs in the pitch. I know that for sure. Of course the pitch will deteriorate and we expected it. We came here 10 days before the Test and the pitch looked to be getting final finishes and we knew what is there for us."

An unbroken 109-run alliance between the double-centurion and tail-ender Bhuvneshwar Kumar capped India success - and Australia's frustration - through Sunday's third session.

Wade, however, insisted a brace of breakthroughs - an a solid second innings - will keep the tourists in the contest come Monday and beyond.

"If there is anything for us in this Test, it is coming on Monday and getting those two wickets. If we take some quick wickets and bat on as long as we can, is important for us in the whole series. It is about how we back ourselves tomorrow as a team," he added.

"It is tough to play in the sub-continent. MS played beautifully. I know we have some tough days. Hopefully we do not have more tough ones. Individually we got to be ready for the remaining two days, especially the bowlers. We are fully soaked on the series and we know it is tough."