India's pace bowlers staged a dramatic turnaround with a devastating exhibition of swing bowling as South Africa suffered a stunning collapse to leave the first cricket Test more or less on an even keel here on Thursday.
The Indians lost five wickets for just 25 runs to be bundled out for 280 in their first innings but clawed back brilliantly to leave the hosts at 213 for six at close in an action-packed second day.
The hosts were cruising along comfortably at 130 for one before the Indian pacers wreaked havoc to completely change the complexion of the game on a Wanderers track which gave assistance to the quick bowlers.
The lanky Ishant Sharma (3/64)triggered the shocking batting collapse by dismissing Hashim Amla (36) and Jaques Kallis (0) off consecutive deliveries before Zaheer Khan got rid of captain Graeme Smith (68) -- all three wickets falling without a single run being added.
Mohammed Shami then struck for his team by evicting J P Duminy (2) and A B De Villers (13) in the same over to bring the Indians back into the game.
From 130 for one, the Proteas were suddenly struggling at 146 for six, losing five wickets in the span of 16 runs in the eventful last session.
The Proteas, however, recovered some lost ground with Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander stitching 67 runs for the unbroken seventh-wicket stand as Indian bowlers went wicketless for the last 21.3 overs.
Philander and du Plessis were batting on 48 and 17 respectively at stumps with South Africa still trailing by 67 runs.
The Indians were unlucky not to have the wicket of du Plessis as he was dropped on 17 by Rohit Sharma off Shami at the fag end of the day.