Jacques Kallis defended like a rock, attacked like The Rock, put behind him the odd play and miss, and consigned to footnotes Zaheer Khan's opening spell of 6-4-2-2. Soon after Kallis came in at 6 for 2, spin came on and immediately there was turn. Amit Mishra spun legbreaks across batsmen on more than one occasion, was denied an lbw because the ball spun too much.

Kallis remained serene with all this happening around him. Not at the cost of urgency. Frustrated, Mishra tried too hard, looking for the unplayable quick delivery, and when he pitched ever so short, Kallis pulled him over midwicket in back-to-back overs. It ended the period of struggle, taking South Africa to 47 for 2 in the 22nd over, and Kallis level with Amla's score - 21 not out. Few would have imagined what was to come: when Kallis reached his 34th Test hundred - level with Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara - Amla had moved to 38. In close to a couple of hours, Amla had scored 17, Kallis 79, and India had lost initiative.

After hitting Mishra out of the attack before lunch, Kallis turned his attention to Harbhajan. Consistently he got outside the line of off stump, making Harbhajan bowl closer and closer. When he got too close and too full, Kallis slog-swept twice, and later played the trademark inside-out drive.

Zaheer came back for a spell before lunch, managed some reverse, but he was taken for runs too. Two Kallis shots either side of the break against Zaheer stood out among the many special ones. Zaheer was getting the ball to straighten from round the stumps and managed to square Kallis up on the odd occasion, but twice he strayed narrowly. Kallis waited for those deliveries like only the select few can, and closed the face at the last moment, beating deep fine leg on both occasions. The second of those took him to 85 off 138 balls, out of South Africa's 124. He had been 12 off 39 at one point.

After tea, Kallis with a more peaceful mindset, moving slowly towards 150. Still looking solid, Kallis had eyes firmly set on the elusive double-century.