Southampton: Virat Kohli's commendable fightback was cut short just before lunch by Moeen Ali as India were in a spot reaching 126 for 4 at tea on the fourth day of the fourth Test against England.
The match stands on even keel with India needing another 119 runs while home team would be going all-out to take the remaining six wickets.
Kohli's dismissal for a well-made 58 only spiced up things after he and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (44 batting, 133 balls) added 101 runs for the fourth wicket. This was after India lost top three players for only 22 runs on the board.
While the Indian captain would consider himself lucky that he survived an umpiring howler in the 17th over of the innings when TV umpire Joel Wilson ruled him not out despite the ball crashing onto the leg-stumps.
The unlucky bowler was Moeen Ali, who finally got his man when Kohli gloved a delivery that had both turn and bounce to forward short-leg.
The Indian skipper showed a lot of patience during his 130-ball knock with four boundaries. Rahane's innings has a solitary boundary till now.
At the break, he has Hardik Pandya (0 batting) for company.
The Kohli-Rahane duo batted for more than 42 overs and the best part about their partnership was the risk free approach that they employed.
They were beaten occasionally, there was some turn on offer for Moeen (1/33 in 18 overs) but both the senior players were ready to bide their time in a tricky chase.
Post lunch, Kohli and Rahane had looked to play for time and tried cutting down all risky strokes. England though attacked from the word go, and both batsmen survived loud lbw shouts with the hosts losing their second review on the appeal against Rahane in the 25th over.
The duo dug in deep thereafter and sedately added 50 off 140 balls. Even as Rahane cut down on the risk percentage and concentrated on rotating strike instead, Kohli opened up with more confidence as 41 runs came in the first hour of play after lunch.
India crossed 100 in the 43rd over, with Kohli crossing the 500-run mark in this series. In doing so he brought up his 19th Test half-century off 114 balls.
The duo kept playing the same vein, and towards the end of session brought up their 100-partnership off 248 balls, before disaster struck and Kohli was dismissed just prior to tea.
In the first session, James Anderson (2-33) had Shikhar Dhawan (17) caught at slip and trapped Cheteshwar Pujara (5) lbw, as the Indian top-order struggled against lateral movement generated by the new ball.
KL Rahul's (0) struggles against the incoming delivery continues as well, bowled off Stuart Broad (1-23) in the fourth over, albeit he was unlucky to get a low toe-edge that deflected onto his stumps.
Pujara did use up one DRS referral for his lbw call, but replays showed the ball hitting bails and the decision stood on umpire's call.
Kohli and Rahane negotiated the tough passage of play until lunch thereafter, with the latter surviving a close lbw appeal right on the marker with DRS referral showing that the ball had impact outside off stump.
Earlier, Mohammed Shami (4-57) made sure that England didn't get too ahead with their lead. Starting from overnight 260-8, their innings lasted only 4.2 overs with the hosts losing their last two wickets for just 11 runs and were bowled out for 271 runs (96.1 overs) in their second innings.
Shami had Stuart Broad (0) caught behind off the very first ball of the day, and then Sam Curran (46) was run-out shortly afterwards going for a non-existent second run in pursuit of quick scoring.