Starc showed his class in Australia’s series-opening loss on Friday when he snared three early wickets. He was even more devastating in game two.
The left-armer started the destruction in the opening over by tempting Shubman Gill (0) into a loose shot, with Marnus Labuschagne gobbling up the catch at backward point.
Smith gave Starc his second wicket with a juggling effort at slip to dismiss Rohit Sharma for 13.
And when Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed lbw by Starc for a golden duck for the second straight match, the Australian pace ace was on a hat-trick.
KL Rahul blocked out the hat-trick ball, but was trapped in front by Starc a short time later, reducing India to 4-48.
Smith’s stunner at slip – off the bowling of Sean Abbott – made it 5-49, and Ellis snared the prized scalps of Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja (16) as India crashed to 7-91 in the 20th over.
Starc was struck for consecutive sixes by Patel when he returned for another spell but finished the innings by bowling Mohammed Siraj.
Only Waqar Younis (13) and Muttiah Muralitharan (10) have more five-wicket hauls in ODI cricket than Starc’s nine.
The visitors needed to win to stay alive in the three-match series after India won the opener by five wickets on Friday night.
David Warner missed selection due to a corked quad. Warner suffered a concussion and a hairline fracture in his elbow during the second Test of the recent 2-1 series loss to India.
The 36-year-old was slated to play games two and three in the ODI series against India, but the corked quad ruled him out of the second fixture.
It remains to be seen whether he features in the final game of the series on Wednesday.
Australia made two changes to the team that struggled in making 188 on Friday.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey returned after recovering from illness, with Josh Inglis forced to make way.
Glenn Maxwell was dropped to add an extra pace option, with Nathan Ellis earning the nod.
Ashton Agar was again named 12th man, continuing a frustrating run for the spinner following his selection snub during the Test series.
News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.