South Africa were 143-6 and trailed by 44 runs at tea on day two at the Wanderers.
Hashim Amla and Kagiso Rabada did well to survive for much of the first session and boosted the hosts to 81-3 at lunch. Since then, the India bowlers have pitched the ball up in an attempt to exploit the exaggerated movement off the deck as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah combined to claim three big wickets after the break and drag their side back into the contest.
One man has continued to fight on for the hosts, though. Thanks to Amla, who will resume his innings after the break, the Proteas are still in with a chance of taking a first-innings lead.
AB de Villiers was fortunate to survive a lbw shout early in the second session, when Sharma brought the ball back into him, and the umpire decided that it was not out.
Perhaps Virat Kohli felt that the ball had done a bit too much to hit the stumps, but a subsequent replay, however, proved that this was not the case.
India failed to use the DRS to their advantage in this session. By contrast, the Proteas made a great call to review one particular lbw decision.
Amla, then on 41, was given out lbw, and immediately asked for a review with ball-tracking confirming that the ball was missing the off-stump by some distance.
Amla made some good decisions over the course of the session and the same could not be said of De Villiers, Faf du Plessis, and Quinton de Kock.
De Villiers played down the wrong line and was bowled by Kumar. Du Plessis shouldered arms to a Bumrah delivery and had his off-stump knocked back.
De Kock’s poor run of form continued when he edged Bumrah to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel as South Africa lost those three wickets for 32 runs.
Amla managed to steady the ship and, with the help of a combative Vernon Philander, guided South Africa to tea. If these two occupy the crease for an hour or so after the break, the hosts may well take a first-innings lead.
India 187 – Virat Kohli 54, Cheteshwar Pujara 50, Kagiso Rabada 3-39, Andile Phehlukwayo 2-25
SA 143-6 – Hashim Amla 54 not out, Kagiso Rabada 30, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-34, Jasprit Bumrah 2-37
South Africa trail by 44 runs
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix