The England cricketers face an uphill battle to save the second test at Lord's after slumping to 105 for four at the close of the fourth day in pursuit of 319 to beat India.
England, chasing a first test win in 10 matches after series defeats by Australia and Sri Lanka, lost three wickets in 20 balls to leave them teetering at 72 for four.
Joe Root (14) and Moeen Ali (15) ensured there was no further damage, and will resume tonight needing a further 214 runs for victory as England eye their second-highest successful fourth-innings chase and biggest at Lord's.
Their target is at least 50 runs more that they would have liked, but a thrilling 99-run, eighth-wicket stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took India's lead past the 300 mark.
Sam Robson made 7, Gary Ballance 27, Ian Bell 1 and Alastair Cook for 22.
Earlier Jadeja and Kumar put on 99 runs in 100 balls as they hit the England attack to all corners of the ground.
Jadeja, frequently booed by the Lord's crowd over a clash with England paceman James Anderson during the drawn first match at Trent Bridge, brought up his maiden test half-century off 42 balls before falling for 68.
Number nine Kumar continued his fine start to the series, passing 50 for the third time in four innings, having taken career best bowling figures of 6 for 82 in England's first innings.
He was last man out as India were dismissed for 342.