Cape Town: India started strongly on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at Newlands on Friday, but finished in disarray after a ferocious onslaught by the home team's fast bowlers.
India were 28 for three at the close -- with skipper Virat Kohli amongst the victims -- after bowling out the hosts for 286, trailing by 258 runs on Day 1 in Newlands on Friday.
It was a remarkable turnaround after South Africa had been reduced to 12 for three by Bhuvneshwar Kumar inside the first half hour.
Counter-attacking batting, led by aggressive half-centuries by AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, and some wayward bowling by India enabled South Africa to make a reasonable total on a lively pitch.
Then the South African fast bowlers struck.
Vernon Philander had Murali Vijay caught at gully and four balls later Dale Steyn, playing his first Test match in more than a year, caught Shikhar Dhawan off his own bowling when Dhawan's attempted pull steepled high into the air.
The biggest prize fell to Morne Morkel, who came on as first change and produced a sharply-lifting delivery which Indian captain Virat Kohli edged to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock after making just five.
The second session mirrored the first with India snuffing out early wickets followed by counterattack from the South African batsmen with the hosts taking tea at 230/7.
AB de Villiers was out after adding six runs to his total with Jasprit Bumrah accounting for him as his maiden Test wicket with an incoming delivery that crashed on the stumps after taking an inside edge. Bumrah thus broke the 114-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Faf du Plessis crashed Bumrah through point to reach his half-century and then smacked back-to-back fours off Pandya in the following over. He was well set when Pandya pinged him in front but Plessis survived the lbw shout after Indians reviewed the not out decision and then two balls later, got a thick edge to be out caught in the slips on 62 with captain Virat Kohli leading loud celebrations.
South Africa had lost half their side on 142 but then Quinton de Kock took the reins, clobbering three straight fours off Bumrah. India had exposed the South African lower order but Vernon Philander was solid as he got off the blocks with a crisp straight drive for four.
The duo quickly raised a fifty stand for the sixth wicket and South Africa had again recovered from quick blows. With a four, De Kock took the score past the 200-run mark but then Bhuvneshwar Kumar induced an edge to have him out caught behind on 43 off 40.