India was 174 by six in response to England's first innings 332, a deficit of 158 runs, on stumps on the second day of the fifth Oval test on Saturday. The debutant of the race, Hanuma Vihari, was not 25 years old, with Ravindra Jadeja undefeated in eight. India suffered a major blow before the close when captain and batter star Virat Kohli, the leading scorer of this series, was caught in the second slip by English captain Joe Root before Ben Stokes by 49.
Earlier, England scored more than a hundred runs in the morning session on Saturday after resuming problems in its 198 night games for seven.
Jos Buttler, on his 28th birthday, made 89 – the fourth time in the last five innings of the England test that he has been the top scorer – before being the last man to come out, caught up in the slippage of Jadeja, a spinner of the left arm.
Jadeja, playing his first game in this series, led the Indian attack with four wickets for 79 runs in 30 overs.
England leads this contest of five games 3-1.