India put their record collapse from the first Test firmly behind them by claiming a dominant eight-wicket win over Australia in Melbourne to level the series 1-1 on Tuesday.
Needing only 70 runs for victory after bowling Australia out for 200 by lunch, opener Shubman Gill (35 not out) and stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane (27 not out) guided India home.
Having bowled India out for 36 in the crushing eight-wicket win in Adelaide, Australia's pacemen steamed in with their usual vigour but were repelled by a belligerent Gill, who enjoyed a fine debut as a Test opener.
However, the match belonged to Rahane, who took over the captaincy after Adelaide when regular skipper Kohli returned to India for the birth of his first child.
"What a win this is, absolutely amazing effort by the whole team," Kohli tweeted after the match. "Couldn't be happier for the boys and specially Jinks [Rahane] who led the team to victory amazingly. Onwards and upwards from here."
Named man of the match, Rahane marshalled a rejigged side superbly, and fittingly struck the winning run off spinner Nathan Lyon before tea, sending India fans into raptures in the crowd of 13,000.
"It would've been easy for us to get bogged down thinking about Adelaide, but we decided to not do that," Rahane said. "We wanted to come in with intent and attitude. Collective effort of individuals was the message. We knew we'd get the results if we did that."
Two years after smashing a depleted Australia by 137 runs in the Boxing Day Test, India's bowlers again had the measure of their opponents on the MCG's drop-in wicket.
The tourists rattled through Australia for 195 in the first innings and restricted them to 200 in the second, despite the loss of paceman Umesh Yadav, who managed only a handful of overs before hobbling off with a calf strain early on Day 3.
Seamer Mohammed Siraj filled the breach superbly, taking 3-37 in the second innings and five wickets overall in a stellar Test debut.
"Really proud of all the players, credit to our debutants Gill and Siraj. The way they showed character was amazing," Rahane said.
Recalled all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in with three wickets, with 2-28 in the second innings, after contributing 57 with the bat in India's first innings 326.
Completing the selectors' triumph, recalled wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, the fourth change to the team, scored a valuable 29.
Australia's selectors will be hoping regular opener David Warner is fit to play after Joe Burns's (0 and 4) twin failures with the bat.
Tailenders Starc (14 not out), Pat Cummins (22) and Hazlewood (10) showed stiffer resistance than a number of their batting teammates to push Australia to 200 for the first time in the series.
Reduced to 99-6 on Day 3, however, Australia's faint hopes of setting India a proper chase were snuffed out when young all-rounder Cameron Green heaved at a Siraj short ball and was caught by a leaping Jadeja for 45.
"Very disappointed, we played poor cricket, sloppy cricket," Australia captain Tim Paine said. "Let's not take anything away from India, they forced us to make mistakes. They bowled beautifully, we haven't adapted as well as we would've liked.
"Disappointed as a batting group, but there are two Tests to go, so we'll work hard and come back."
The third Test in Sydney starts on January 7, with Brisbane hosting the final match of the series from January 15.