After a brilliant performance from their spinners, South Africa bowled India out for 200, setting themselves a target of 218 on a turning wicket in Mohali.
The good news for the Proteas is that there is plenty of time left in this game. There will be a winner. They will be all too aware of the bad news – there is plenty of assistance for the spinners on this pitch. India’s trio spin attack will be a hand full.
Taking everything into account, South Africa will be reasonably happy with the target and will take inspiration from previous occasions where they had to bat in difficult conditions to win or draw a Test match.
However, this is a very inexperienced team in Indian conditions so Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers will have to bat well again to give their team a chance.
Simon Harmer (4-61) and Imran Tahir (4-48) took the last two wickets after lunch for 15 runs.
South Africa’s spinners came to the party in a big way in the first session on day three as India lost six wickets for 24 runs to go to lunch on 185-8.
The morning session started slowly for the touring side with no Dale Steyn and Tahir in the attack. All the action transpired in the hour before lunch to radically turn the game on it’s head.
India’s implosion was started by an unlikely source when Stiaan van Zyl claimed the big wicket of Virat Kohli, who nicked one behind to the keeper for 29.
It took Amla an hour and 15 minutes to introduce Tahir to the attack, the captain seemingly not comfortable having him bowl to Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. As soon as Kohli fell, Tahir got a go.
The leg-spinner made an immediate impact, having Pujara caught for 77 at slip. It was the second quick wicket and another one was on it’s way. Harmer struck after Temba Bavuma, on the field for the injured Steyn, took a brilliant one-handed catch to get rid of Ajinkya Rahane for two.
It was the Harmer and Tahir show, the former removing Jadeja and Mishra in consecutive overs before Tahir had Ashwin caught at first slip by Amla.