England are on the brink of securing a famous Test series victory on Indian soil after reaching stumps well-placed on 161-3 on day four in Nagpur - an overall lead of 165.
Warwickshire duo Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell kept India at bay throughout the majority of the evening session and time is quickly running out for the hosts to force the victory they need to square the four-match series.
If they fail to do so, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may well rue a baffling morning session on the penultimate day which saw India add just 29 runs in over an hour before declaring on 326-9, still four runs adrift of England's first-innings total.
At no great rush, England then began adding to their advantage, with openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton sharing a 48-run partnership before both fell in controversial circumstances in the afternoon session.
Not for the first time in the match, Cook was left perplexed when umpire Kumar Dharmasena gave him out with evidence suggesting he should not have been.
Ravi Ashwin was the beneficiary on this occasion with Dhoni claiming a thin edge behind the stumps.
Compton also fell to spin, however he too could count himself unlucky after appearing to get an inside edge on to the ball before he was adjudged lbw to Pragyan Ojha in the last passage of play before tea.
Kevin Pietersen was undone by left-arm spin yet again after the break, inexplicably leaving a straight ball from Ravindra Jadeja, which crashed into off stump.
But the Warwickshire pair of Trott and Bell steadied the ship admirably, sharing an unbroken 67-run partnership which frustrated the increasingly agitated India fielders.
Trott, who survived a huge caught behind appeal from Ishant Sharma when on 43, is unbeaten on 66 and will resume alongside Bell (24no) with the second new ball due in one over's time.
Despite still trailing by four first-innings runs, India captain Dhoni had earlier declared after a dull opening hour on day four, where his team added just 29 runs.
Not a single boundary was scored by India, who showed little intent to score quickly, while England were more than content to let them take time out of the game.
Ashwin (29no) continually turned down runs, while Monty Panesar (1-81) could barely muster the enthusiasm to celebrate when he bowled Ojha for three.
England only need to draw the game to achieve a first series win in India in 27 years.
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