India took a firm grip on the first Test after finishing Day 3 in Johannesburg on 284-2 in their second innings, a lead of 320 over South Africa.
|SA 1st Inns: 245 (75.3 Overs)|
|F du Plessis||c †Dhoni b Khan||20||141||77|
|VD Philander||c Ashwin b Khan||59||113||82|
|DW Steyn||c RG Sharma b I Sharma||10||17||12|
|M Morkel||b Khan||7||14||9|
|Imran Tahir||not out||0||8||4|
|Extras||(lb 4, w 1, nb 3)||8|
|India 2nd Inns: 284-2 (78 Overs)|
|S Dhawan||c Kallis b Philander||15||32||21|
|M Vijay||c †de Villiers b Kallis||39||155||94|
|CA Pujara||not out||135||221|
|V Kohli||not out||77||132|
|Extras||(b 5, lb 5, w 8)||18|
|AB de Villiers||1||0||5||0|
The hosts started the day 67 runs in arrears but lost their last four first innings wickets for just 31 to be bowled out for 244, a deficit of 36.
An unbroken third wicket partnership of 191 between Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli then put the tourists into a position of great strength.
The stand b/w Kohli-Pujara is the 500th century stand in India' Test history, the 4th Team to reach the mark after Eng 955, Aus 829 & WI 506— Cricket Record (@cricinfo_record) December 20, 2013
The Proteas were hindered by an injury to Morne Morkel; the fast bowler suffered a sprained ankle just before lunch and was unable to take the field for the rest of the day.
Starting the day on 213-6, Vernon Philander did bring up his third Test half-century before falling for 59, caught at slip off Zaheer Khan.
Ishant Sharma had Dale Steyn caught in the slips for 10 to claim his fourth victim, while Zaheer then picked up the wicket of Faf du Plessis for 20 and clean bowled Morkel (7) to also claim four scalps.
Philander became the fastest South African to 100 Test wickets when Shikhar Dhawan edged to Jacques Kallis at slip after making 15, and the match was delicately poised with India 31-1 at lunch.
That score had advanced to 93 when fellow opener Murali Vijay (39) was strangled down the leg side with AB de Villiers taking the catch off Kallis.
The bizarre sight of De Villiers removing his wicketkeeping pads to bowl the final over before tea followed, before India took a stranglehold in the final session thanks to Pujara and Kohli.
Pujara recorded his sixth Test century in just his 16th match off 168 balls with 13 boundaries and was unbeaten on 135 at the close.
At one stage Pujara was 9 off 64. Now he is on 106 off 177. scored last 97 off 113. Great Acceleration! Must be taken in ODIs also. #IndvsSA— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SAMPATH_B24) December 20, 2013
First innings centurion Kohli continued his superb form and was 77 not out at stumps with eight boundaries in his innings.
Virat Kohli (119 & 50*) now 2nd Indian after Rahul Dravid (148 & 81 at Jo'burg 1997) to make a 100 & 50 in same Test match in SAf #IndvSA— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) December 20, 2013
South Africa are guaranteed to maintain their top position in the ICC rankings regardless of the result, but India could move to within a point with a 2-0 victory in the two-match series.