South Africa blocked their way through 34 overs in the second session on day four without losing a wicket to give themselves a chance of pushing the Test into day five.
You still get the sense that a wicket can fall at any stage, but Temba Bavuma (30 off 104 balls) and Hashim Amla (six off 113) have steadied the ship after Dean Elgar was dismissed in the five overs before lunch.
South Africa will continue on 40-1 after tea and if they can get through the final session without losing more than one wicket, they will fancy their chances of batting deep into day five on Monday.
Bavuma and Amla have opted for the ultra-cautious approach, even though talk in the previous three Tests were to stay positive despite batting in difficult conditions. The surface in Delhi has arguably been the best for batting in the series, but the Proteas have barely scored at a run an over so far.
It took Amla 46 deliveries to get off the mark, a sign of his determination to stay in and fight but also his lack of confidence after a dreadful series with the bat.
The thinking might be to see out the day losing as few wickets as possible and then start again fresh on Monday morning. The longer South Africa hold out the more frustrated India will become, although if they continue scoring at this rate they won’t reach the target of 480, even if they manage to bat out the rest of the game.
Virat Kohli used his seamers after lunch, despite Ravi Ashwin being the one to take the wicket of Elgar, who edged one on the drive to slip.
India declared their second innings 20 minutes before lunch on 267-5 as Kohli waited for Ajinkya Rahane to reach his sixth Test hundred.
It was Rahane’s second century of the Test match, following 127 in India’s first innings. Kohli himself was looking to score his first hundred of the series, but he fell for 88 when Kyle Abbott trapped him lbw.
Kohli and Rahane shared a 154-run partnership, the biggest of the series so far and South Africa will need something similar if they want any chance of batting out the rest of the Test.
Rahane also shared a 55-run partnership with Wriddhiman Saha (23) which pushed India’s lead to 480.