After getting treated harshly by the South African duo of Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock in the first two sessions, Indian spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bounced back in the third, bringing the hosts back, right before the end of day’s play.
Proteas ended day three at a score of 385/8, still trailing India by 117 runs. Muthusamy and Keshav Maharaj will resume day four on their overnight scores of 12 and 3 respectively.
Centuries from Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock kept the Indian fielders toiling throughout the third day of the first Test in Visakhapatnam. The duo punished the home attack throughput the day’s play, ensuring that they go into the tea interval with five wickets in hand.
Both batsmen put up a partnership of 164 runs, but their resistance finally ended in the 100th over as Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Elgar (160).
With this wicket, Jadeja registered his 200th Test wicket. However, de Kock carried on for the Proteas and he brought up his century in the 105th over.
De Kock and Senuran Muthusamy put up a brief 28-run stand, however, Ashwin finally ended de Kock's (111) innings as he dismissed him in the 110th over, reducing Proteas to 370/7.
Soon after, Ashwin picked up his 27th Test five-wicket haul as he clean bowled Vernon Philander (0) with South Africa at the score of 376/8.
Resuming day three at 39/3, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma played cautiously and added 24 more runs to the overnight score, but their stint at the crease was cut short as Ishant Sharma trapped Bavuma (18) in the middle, getting him leg-before wicket to reduce South Africa to 63/4.
Skipper Faf du Plessis next came out to bat and he along with Elgar ensured Proteas don't lose any more wicket before the lunch break and the side went into the interval at 153/4.
After the break, the duo carried on with momentum and stitched together a partnership of 115 runs which saw both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.
Ravichandran Ashwin finally provided the much-needed breakthrough as he dismissed du Plessis (55) to reduce South Africa to 178/5.