A double-century from Virat Kohli inspired India to an imposing total, leaving South Africa staring down the barrel on day 2 of the second Test in Pune on Friday.
The hosts posted a first innings score of 601-5, led by their skipper who bagged a career-best unbeaten 254, before declaring and leaving the visitors trailing by 573 runs with seven wickets in hand.
Proteas put to the sword in Pune
The Proteas ended the day three wickets down in their response, with openers, Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar back in the pavilion early, thanks to Umesh Yadav, who used the new ball to great effect on his return to the Test setup. The third wicket was picked up by Mohammed Shami, who removed Temba Bavuma for just eight in his first over.
This was after yet another dominant batting display from India, who resumed their innings on 273-3 with Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane returning to the middle.
Rahane adopted a tentative approach on his way to his half-century, before being dismissed for 59 off 168 in a 178-run stand with his skipper.
He was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj, who registered his 100th Test wicket and his sixth of the series, on his way to rather unimpressive figures of 1-155 in 45 overs.
Kohli was joined by Ravindra Jadeja before bringing up his 26th Test century in what was a typically assured innings.
India went to tea at an already colossal 473-3, with the captain just six away from his seventh Test double.
Getting there did not take him long, as he and Jadeja piled on the pain on the South African attack, who were rather unfortunate with a number of balls finding the edge but not carrying to a catcher.
All-rounder Senuran Muthusamy breached Kohli’s defences for the second time in the series, but his joy was short-lived after replays showed that he had overstepped.
India continued to pile on the pain and, with Jadeja approaching a century of his own, he attempted to slog the part-time spin of Elgar only to find de Bruyn at deep long-off to depart for 94.
India in a dominant position on day 2
His wicket was followed by an immediate declaration, with India opting to take a dig at a tired South African top order before the close of play.
Elgar survived the first over he faced, but his partner, Markram wasn’t as lucky as he was trapped in front by Yadav two deliveries in for naught.
The quick’s second over took a little longer to yield a wicket, with Elgar lasting five balls before playing onto his stumps to lose his wicket at six.
Bavuma had a nervy start in the middle, surviving a call for caught behind, and only added eight runs to the total before edging to Wriddiman Saha off the bowling of Shami.
Debutant, Anrich Nortje was brought in as nightwatchman ahead of captain, Faf du Plessis, and saw the innings to stumps, facing 22 balls for his unbeaten two, alongside de Bruyn, who finished the day with a fluent 20 off 38.
Play resumes again at 6:00 (SAST) on Saturday.