The double-century continued to elude Jacques Kallis but not Hashim Amla, who accumulated his way to the highest Test score by a South African in India. He also provided solidity from the other end as AB de Villiers played havoc with the spinners' lengths during a 108-run partnership that followed the 340-run stand between Kallis and Amla, the fifth-highest association in India. On a pitch behaving like it was a fourth-day track, Amla's effort took South Africa to a seemingly formidable total.

Amla's was an incredibly disciplined effort. He didn't hit anything in the air. Once Kallis was done with his onslaught on the first day, there were no periods of quiet or a loud burst from Amla, still managing a 50-plus strike-rate. Today he scored 55, 45 and 38 in the three sessions, third of which featured 25 minutes fewer, and never frustrated the other batsmen by hogging strike. He faced 473 deliveries, and the batsmen since him got 556 in all. It needed all the discipline from Amla because the pitch offered Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra ample assistance.

Amla started the day by getting the testing Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma out of his face by hitting three boundaries in two overs: two pulls and one off-drive. Against the spin of Harbhajan Singh he went back and across outside off, negating the lbw, and ruling out a bat-pad gap. He played a few lovely cover drives, stepping out and going inside-out. One of those brought up his maiden double-century.

The cover-drive, having stepped out to the bowler, was the standout shot of an innings that was so remarkably even you'd be struggle to pick a favourite area or favourite shot in.