A what-is-the-plan-here start on Day 4 was followed by the press of the accelerator by Ajinkya Rahane, who then got to his second hundred of this fourth Test match, before India finally put South Africa out of their misery and declared. However, there wasn't much joy for the India bowlers as Hashim Amla showed why he has one of the best defences in the business, while AB De Villiers also proved he can block with the best of them.
After scoring 267/5 in in 100.1 overs in India's second innings of the fourth Test match, 481 runs is what South Africa were asked to score for a face-saving win in this Freedom Test Series they have already lost.
The visitors lost a wicket early, just before Lunch, with Dean Elgar picked up by R Ashwin, off a ball that spun away and took the edge through to Rahane at first slip, leaving them at 5/1 in five overs.
In the second session, Temba Bavuma and Hahim Amla, who took 46 balls to get off the mark, dropped anchor, and quite well too. With the ball not turning enough often enough, it was fairly comfortable for the two batsmen out there in the middle, with the India pacers – Umesh Yadav (9-6-6-0) and Ishant Sharma (12-7-16-0) – also unable to create enough opportunities for the wicket.
R Ashwin, with the two right-handers at the crease, was not able to cause too many problems, while Ravindra Jadeja (23-16-10-0) looked the most likely to pick up a wicket in the second session, in particular. But even the left-arm spinner had to settle for a wicketless session, as South Africa went into Tea on 40 for one in 39 overs, having scored just 35 runs in 34 overs in the session.
The status quo was maintained in the final session of day four, with the only exception being that a wicket fell, that of Bavuma (34, 117b, 4x4, 1x6), fairly early in the final session of Day 4, after the right-hander failed to read a straighter delivery from Ashwin (23-13-29-2), who, failing to trouble the batsmen with his off-spinners, showed his quite impressive leg-spinning chops as well.
AB De Villiers, who came on to a rapturous reception from the Feroz Shah Kotla crowd, took over from Bavuma, with a little bit more style, of course, as continued to block, block and then block some more with the "Mighty Hash" for company at the other end.
De Villiers (11, 91b, 1x4) and Amla (23, 207b, 3x4) were unmoved as the India bowlers tried everything – the two best chances were created by part-timer Shikhar Dhawan -- on this pitch that just did not have any demons on – it was the kind of wicket that was difficult to score runs on, but fairly easy to defend. The day's play ended with South Africa on 72/2 in 72 overs, not that the score even remotely matters anymore. The only thing that is of value for both teams now is time, and there are six more hours of those left on the final day of this Test match.
Earlier, The India captain Virat Kohli fell 12 runs short of what would have been a deserved hundred after a Kyle Abbott delivery kept really low and struck him in front of the stumps.
Following that wicket of Kohli (88, 165b, 10x4) in the fifth over of the day, it looked like India's plan was to really not have much of a plan and just bat out until Lunch, with Wriddhiman Saha coming in and for a while looking like he was batting to save a Test match.
However, with a flick of a switch, Rahane jumped into high gear, getting to the nervous 90s with two big sixes off the spinners and after that, it was just a wait until the right-hander got to his hundred – with it becoming only the fifth Indian to hit centuries in both innings of a Test match -- with a flick to the onside, before Kohli waved those arms to the batsmen, asking them to come in.
Watch the highlights of the 4th Test match, Day 4 HERE
Watch the moment Rahane completes his century HERE