The decision to rest premier batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma backfired badly as India were precariously placed at 145 for six in reply to South Africa A's first innings total of 341 at stumps on the second day of the second 'Test' here Sunday.
Ambati Rayudu (14 batting) and Perveez Rasool (0 batting) were at the crease during close of play as the visitors need another 47 runs to reach the magic figure of 192 in order to avoid follow on.
India lost five wickets for only 50 runs after being comfortably placed at 95 for one with skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (54) well set. The moment Indian captain was dismissed by left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks at the stroke of tea, the final session turned completely in favour of hosts.
The team management paid the price for resting last match's centurions Sharma and Raina along with in-form Dhawan.
While one of the replacements Dinesh Karthik (9) was dismissed by offie Simon Harmer caught by Rilee Russouw, the other Stuart Binny (0) was cleaned up playing to a wrong line.
Murali Vijay (4) and Ajinkya Rahane (36, 5x4), who got set, couldn't read the angle of left-arm seamer Hendricks' delivery. Wriddhiman Saha (14) was done in by pace of Kyle Abbott.
Pujara looked solid during his innings of 54 as he hit five fours facing 97 balls. One cover drive off Wayne Parnell stood out.
Earlier, South Africa finished their first innings on a healthy 341 after being down in the dumps at 97 for six. Parnell (91) and Harmer (96) added 186 runs for the seventh wicket to take the Proteas to a position of safety.