Two successive strikes from Starc to get returning skipper Rohit Sharma for 13 and then Suryakumar Yadav, out for a second straight first-ball duck, pushed India onto the back foot.
KL Rahul played out the hat-trick ball but lasted for just 11 more deliveries before falling leg before wicket to Starc, who returned figures of 4-31 in his first spell of six overs.
Skipper Steve Smith took a stunning one-handed catch at first slip to dismiss Hardik Pandya for one off the bowling of Sean Abbott, who took three wickets.
Smith went full stretch to his right and was airborne when he took the catch off an edge from Pandya, setting social media abuzz with praise for his “superman” effort.
Virat Kohli attempted to hit back for India with a score of 31 that included four boundaries before he was trapped in front by Nathan Ellis.
Wickets kept tumbling and the departure of Ravindra Jadeja, the hero from Friday’s first match in Mumbai, for 16 off the bowling of Ellis added to India’s woes.
Starc wrapped up the innings with his ninth ODI five-wicket haul. Axar Patel, who came into the team in place of Shardul Thakur, was unbeaten on 29 after hitting two sixes.
Australia lost Friday’s low-scoring opener and now need 118 runs to keep the three-match series alive.