Nagpur, Nov 26: India seized control of the third Test in Nagpur on Thursday after South Africa, shot out for a record low of 79, fumbled again in their chase of a tough target.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished with five for 32 and Jadeja took four for 33 on a dusty surface at the VCA stadium to bowl South Africa out in 33.1 overs, giving India a first-innings lead of 136 runs.
India were themselves dismissed for 173 runs in their second knock, setting the top-ranked Proteas an improbable target of 310 on a pitch where the ball is turning sharply and keeping low.
South Africa, needing a win to level the four-Test series, ended the second day's play on 32 for two, with Dean Elgar unbeaten on 10 and skipper Hashim Amla on three.
The tourists will start the third day requiring 278 runs more on a dicey pitch that has already claimed 32 wickets over the first two days -- 20 of them on Thursday itself.
Targets of over 300 runs have been chased successfully just once on Indian soil -- by the home team which made 387-4 to defeat England in Chennai in 2008.
Starting the day at 11-2, the Proteas suffered a sensational collapse as they lost three wickets for one run in the first four overs to slip to 12-5.
The world's number one Test side were at that stage in danger of falling below their lowest ever total of 30, but a defiant 35 by JP Duminy saved them the blushes.
But South Africa's meagre score was the lowest total by any team against India, coming in below Sri Lanka's 82 in Chandigarh in 1990.
-- "Not discounting" a win yet --
Proteas' coach Russell Domingo refused to criticise the pitch conditions and insisted all was not lost for the tourists yet.
"Some strange things have happened in this game before," Domingo said. "We are obviously a long way behind in this Test at the moment, but we are not discounting ourselves just yet.
"If you're winning the series, it is easy to criticise the pitch, but when you're behind in the series, it is difficult to do so.
"You have to give India credit. They have prepared wickets that suit their style of play and their spinners have been really good. They have bowled outstandingly well and we have not batted as well as we can."
Amla's poor run in the series continued when he gloved an intended sweep off Ashwin to Ajinkya Rahane in the slips after the ball bounced off the wicket-keeper. ?AFP