India’s Ravichandran Ashwin claimed South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis for 64 as the tourists desperately sought to avoid the follow-on in the second Test on Saturday.
South Africa reached 197-8 at tea on the third day in Pune, but Ashwin’s strike to get du Plessis caught at slip was a heavy blow to their hopes as they chased India’s 601-5 declared.
Vernon Philander, on 23, and Keshav Maharaj, on 21, put on 35 for the ninth wicket. But South Africa need another 205 runs to avoid a follow-on.
South Africa resumed on 36-3 and Indian paceman Mohammed Shami struck early to remove nightwatchman Anrich Nortje for three when he edged a delivery to Virat Kohli at fourth slip.
Theunis de Bruyn was caught behind off Umesh Yadav for 30 as the tourists slipped to 53 for five.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock put on a 75-run fourth wicket stand with du Plessis to offer some resistance before Ashwin’s off spin bowled him for 31.
Yadav, who took the South African openers on day two, claimed three wickets while Shami took two.
Kohli hit a career-best 254 not out to surpass Don Bradman’s Test tally of 6,996 runs on Friday as India tightened the screws on the tourists.
A victory for India, who won the first of the three Tests on Sunday, will see them beat the record of 10 straight home series wins they share with Australia.