England require a further 317 runs on the final day if they are to beat India in the second test at Visakhapatnam.
Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid finished with four wickets apiece as England took seven wickets for 106 runs on Sunday morning to bowl India out for 204, leaving England searching for 404 runs for victory.
The Three Lions closed on day four on 87-2 as Alastair Cook made 54 before falling in the final over of the day.
However, if Cook’s men were to surpass their 404 target on Monday, it would be the highest run chase in the fourth innings in India of all time, overwriting the 387 India chased ironically against England back in 2008 in Chennai.
England make early inroads on fourth day
Resuming 98-3 on the penultimate day, England made an early breakthrough when Broad found the outside edge of Ajinkya Rahane and Cook made no mistake in the slip cordon to end a 77-run stand after India found themselves 40-3 early on in their second innings.
Ravi Ashwin (7) and Wriddhiman Saha (2) came and went cheaply as Broad picked up his fourth and Rashid his first, leaving the hosts 130-6.
Virat Kohli had been a thorn in England’s attack once again after his first innings century and was going along strongly at 81 from 109 balls, but Ben Stokes’ stunning one-handed diving catch was to end any further Kohli domination and give Rashid his second, taking the score to 151-7.
Deja Vu for Cook and co.
Rashid was far from done there though and removed Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav to make it four wickets in five overs from the leg-spinner, but England’s familiar final-wicket hoodoo came back to bite them once again.
England were 362 runs behind when Rashid took India’s ninth wicket, but debutant Jayant Yadav and Mohammed Shami added another 42 for the final wicket in just under eight overs as Shami hit 19 from 22 including two sixes, whilst Yadav finished unbeaten on 27.
Moeen Ali took the final wicket as Shami was stumped by Jonny Bairstow with the off spinner's first ball of the day and England had bowled India out for 204 in their second innings, leaving them an uphill battle to salvage the second test.
England battle through till tea
England reached tea unscathed through Cook and Haseeb Hameed and a slow yet steady start saw them reach 40-0 from 28 overs at the tea break.
It was more of the same at the start of the final session as England added 35 from the next 22 overs, until India finally struck through Ashwin.
Hameed fell victim of a ball that shot across the floor and was trapped LBW by the world’s number one bowler, adding to his five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Hameed was gone for marathon 25 from 144 balls in over three hours of batting and Joe Root joined Cook as England looked to see out the day.
Late heartbreak for Cook
England skipper Cook managed to reach 50 from a stubborn 172 balls, but couldn’t reach stumps without being struck in front by Jadeja with what proved to be the final ball of the day, departing for 54 from 188 balls, whilst Root will resume unbeaten on five.
It will be a mighty task for England on the final day, but they will certainly have to pick up the pace if they are to go 1-0 up in the series.