Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got a big breakthrough, removing South Africa captain Faf du Plessis (55) before opener Dean Elgar scored a century on Day 3 of the Vizag Test.
Elgar got to his 12th Test century off 176 deliveries, with South Africa at 193/5, trailing India by 309 runs.
Earlier, Du Plessis and opener Dean Elgar steadied South Africa’s innings with a 115 run partnership on Friday, 4 October.
The visitors had taken lunch at 153/4, trailing India by 349 runs, with du Plessis (48*) and Elgar (76*) at the crease.
Ishant Sharma picked the sole wicket in the morning session.
Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma started the day on the overnight score of 39/3 but just 24 runs later, Ishant trapped Bavuma in front of the wickets and had the batsman walking on 18.
Bavuma did observed asking for a review but a quick chat with his partner and he decided against it. As he walked back into the dressing room, South African skipper Faf du Plessis walked out to bat.
South Africa are chasing India’s 502/7d and lost 3 wickets in the final session on Day 2 with Aiden Markram (5), Theunis de Bruyn (4) and night watchman Dane Piedt (0) getting packed off by the spin of R Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja.
Earlier on Day 2, Mayank Agarwal had converted his maiden Test hundred into a brilliant double.