India will have to produce an extraordinary batting performance if they are to win or even draw the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Needing 287 runs to win, the visitors, who couldn't chase down 208 in the first Test, closed Day 4 on 35/3 on a wicket where it's hard to fathom whether the ball will kick up or keep low.
Parthiv Patel will vouch for the unpredictability of the pitch after getting hit in the chest off the bowling of debutant Lungi Ngidi, who had earlier stunned the Indian team and fans with the wicket of Virat Kohli.
It turned out to be a terrible day for Kohli who had earlier been fined 25% of his match fee for showing dissent against the umpires on the third day of the match.
With Murali Vijay (9), KL Rahul (4) and Kohli (5) back in the dressing room, the odds are heavily stacked against the touring team. Patel (5*) and Pujara (11*) now have plenty of work to do come the first session on Wednesday.
South Africa resumed their second innings on 90/2 and went on to make 258, largely thanks to AB de Villiers (80) and captain Faf du Plessis (48).
India took wickets at regular intervals but couldn't really run through the Proteas innings. Mohammed Shami, who had looked ineffective until now, got some of his rhythm back and accounted for four wickets at the expense of 49 runs, including the prized wicket of de Villiers.
Jasprit Bumrah, who had taken the first two South African wickets yesterday, took one more on Tuesday to return figures of 3/70. Ishant Sharma also bowled well in patches and returned 2/40.
India started their chase badly as Vijay and Rahul fell cheaply to Kagiso Rabada and Ngidi respectively early on. They cut a sorry figure on a pitch doing all kinds of tricks.
The enormity of the task India now have on their hands could be gauged from the fact that the highest score ever to be chased at Centurion is 251 and it was the English team that did it way back in 2000.