A declaration by Ricky Ponting five overs into the final day of the opening Test failed to prompt a result as India and Australia played out a draw in Bangalore.
After being set a tempting and attainable target of 299 for victory, India reached 177-4 before fading light saw the first Test end in a stalemate shortly after tea.
Australia were given early hope when Stuart Clark and Brett Lee removed Virender Sehwag (6) and Rahul Dravid (5) respectively.
However, two half-century partnerships involving Sachin Tendulkar steadied the Indian ship as the home fans suddenly turned their attentions to an unlikely win.
Tendulkar was eventually dismissed for 49, one run short of his 50th Test half-century and an agonising 14 runs short of equalling Brian Lara's all-time record of 11,953 Test runs.
The end of the 'Little Master's' cameo effectively ended India's hopes of victory as the hosts showed little ambition to snatch a win before bad light stopped play.
Resuming the day on 193-5, India were presented a gilt-edged chance to snaffle a wicket with the first ball when Anil Kumble spilled a return catch after luring Shane Watson into a false drive.
All-rounder Watson and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin showed plenty of positive intent from ball one before the former was clean bowled by Ishant Sharma for 41.
Haddin finished unbeaten on 35 and Cameron White had crafted a quick-fire 18 before Ricky Ponting waved his troops at 228-6 after just five overs of play.
Defending 299, Australia started with typical aggression - Lee causing numerous problems with his express pace and Clark probing away menacingly outside off-stump.
And the partnership soon got its reward when Clark found the leading edge of Sehwag's bat as he attempted to work the ball away to the leg side - Matthew Hayden catching well at first slip.
Lee made a further inroad for the tourists with the score on 24, this time it was Rahul Dravid, failing again on his home ground when Ponting took a smart catch at short mid-wicket.
Despite plenty of inventive field changes, Australia failed to make any further progress before lunch as Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir dug in.
India's momentum was dealt another blow after the interval when Gambhir was clean bowled for 29 by a full off-cutter from Mitchell Johnson.
Tendulkar, looking well-set to break Lara's record before becoming embroiled in controversy surrounding the light shortly after tea.
With India requiring 170 and Australia seven further wickets, the match was finely poised at the start of the final session.
However, Tendulkar his intention clear as he looked to take the light at any opportunity - much to the disgust of Ponting and the Australia players.
And Tendulkar, one run short of his half-century, appeared to lose all concentration as he chipped to Michael Clarke at extra cover to become leg-spinner White's maiden Test wicket.
With the light fading and the players leaving the field on two separate occasions, the game petered towards an inevitable draw with India 122 runs shy of their target when stumps were drawn.
Laxman looked in fine touch as he finished unbeaten on 42, Sourav Ganguly (26no) was also at the middle as both teams now turn their attentions to the second Test in Mohali on Friday.