Durban: Fast bowler Dale Steyn struck four times as India struggled to 183 for six at stump on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Sunday.
Steyn had figures of four for 36 as he took advantage of overcast conditions and a bouncy pitch after India, for the second successive match, were sent in after rain delayed the start of play.
Needing a victory to keep alive hopes of overall success in the three-match series, the visitors showed more fight than they did when they were bowled out for 136 in the first innings of the first Test at Centurion, where they were beaten by an innings and 25 runs.
But they were once again in deep trouble.
Steyn posed a consistent threat, bowling at a lively pace and swinging the ball away from the batsmen. He dismissed both openers, Virender Sehwag (25) and Murali Vijay (19), in a spell of two for 19 in eight overs before lunch and added the wickets of Rahul Dravid (25) and VVS Laxman (38) during the afternoon.
Left-armer Lonwabo Tsotsobe claimed the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, who was caught at second slip for 13 in the first over after lunch.
Tsotsobe struck again shortly before tea, again in the first over of a spell, when Cheteshwar Pujara (19) top-edged an attempted hook to give wicketkeeper Mark Boucher an easy catch.
Tsotsobe also held a sensational catch to dismiss Laxman, the most impressive of the Indian batsmen.
Laxman, who had greeted Steyn at the start of his afternoon spell with a sumptuous straight drive for four and an effortless hook for six, pulled a short ball from Steyn. It seemed destined for the boundary at wide mid-on but Tsotsobe dived to his right and held the ball one-handed to the obvious astonishment of the batsman.
While South Africa kept faith in the victorious first Test team, India made three changes with Vijay, Pujara and Zaheer Khan coming in for Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Jaidev Unadkat.
A hand injury ruled out Gambhir, Raina paid the price for scoring just one and five in Centurion, and the demotion of Unadkat was inevitable once fellow left-armer pace bowler Khan recovered from a hamstring injury.
India 183 for 6 (Steyn 4-36)