Australia's 12-year hold on the World Cup is over after India prevailed by five wickets in Ahmedabad to set up a semi-final showdown with great rivals Pakistan.
Ricky Ponting, a mainstay of Australia's triumphs in 1999, 2003 and 2007 including as captain for the last two, responded to a week of speculation over his future with a defiant 104 to lead his side to 260-5 after opting to bat first.
But half-centuries from Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Gautam Gambhir (50) set up India's run chase - and Yuvraj Singh carried them over the winning line in the 48th over with an unbeaten 57.
Victory sees India advance to a last-four date with Pakistan in Mohali on March 30.
Openers Shane Watson (25) and Brad Haddin (53) got Australia off to a steady start, putting on 40 before spinner Ravi Ashwin bowled Watson with the final delivery of the opening power play.
That brought Ponting, with a top score of 36 in the tournament, out to the middle and he combined with Haddin in another careful stand of 70 in 12.5 overs.
Haddin brought up his half-century off 57 balls with a boundary - his sixth - but Yuvraj removed him for 53 thanks to a smart catch at cover by Suresh Raina.
India tried to apply the brakes thereafter, stifling Ponting and his deputy Michael Clarke before Yuvraj had an impatient Clarke (8) caught in the deep to leave Australia 140-3.
Ponting reached his 50 off 67 deliveries, but Zaheer Khan soon rattled the off-stump of new man Michael Hussey, on just three, with a clever variation of pace.
The Tasmanian switched then gears by smacking Yuvraj's last over for a six and a boundary as the left-arm spinner ended his spell on 2-44.
Cameron White came and went for 12, caught-and-bowled by Zaheer (2-53), before Ponting enjoyed a reprieve on 94 when an lbw appeal by Harbhajan Singh (0-50) was turned down despite television replays suggesting the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. Unfortunately for India they had already burned their two reviews by that point.
Ponting went on to reach his fifth World Cup century - and 30th in all ODIs - off 113 balls, including seven fours and a six, but Ashwin (2-52) sent him back to the pavilion at last when he was caught attempting a reverse sweep.
David Hussey's unbeaten 26-ball 38 boosted the innings towards the end as Australia scored 41 off the last five overs.
Virender Sehwag, who passed a late fitness test on a knee injury in order to play, did not look at his best - surviving a review of a caught behind appeal in Brett Lee's opening over before departing for 15, top-edging a pull against Watson's medium pace.
Tendulkar, in contrast, made serene progress to becoming the first man to reach 18,000 ODI runs and continued to a 94th half-century in the format during an untroubled 50-run stand with Gambhir for the second wicket.
Straight after reaching the landmark, however, Shaun Tait (1-52) surprised the Little Master with some extra bounce to take his outside edge and Kohli (24), after combining with Gambhir in a 49-run partnership, slapped a David Hussey (1-19) full toss straight to Clarke at midwicket.
Kohli's exit was the start of a wobble - Gambhir finally managing to run himself out after several near misses and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (7) cutting a Lee (1-45) delivery to Clarke at backward point.
That reduced the co-hosts to 187-5, still needing 73 from 75 balls with their last recognised batsmen, Yuvraj and Raina, at the crease.
The two left-handers stayed calm and the contest turned firmly India's way when the 40th over, bowled by Lee, disappeared for 14 and the next, from Tait, cost 13.
And, with the run-rate well under control, India eased home with 14 balls to spare, Yuvraj sealing the man-of-the-match award with his fourth half-century of the tournament.
Raina finished with 34 not out from 28 deliveries, including two fours and a smeared six off Lee.