Chennai: Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings kept India's bowlers at bay to reach 97 without loss at lunch as the fifth Test in Chennai appeared to be heading for a draw on Tuesday.
England, who started the final day at 12/0, trailed by 185 runs in their second innings with Cook on 47 and Jennings having scored 46.
But the tourists were lucky to survive the morning session unscathed after captain Cook was dropped by Parthiv Patel behind the stumps when he had scored just four.
A flighted delivery from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin turned sharply away from the left-handed Cook who edged, only to see it spilled by the wicketkeeper.
Pacemen Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav kept up the pressure with a barrage of short balls but got little help from the flat deck at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The Indian spinners also tried to apply pressure by surrounding the pair with close-in fielders but Cook and Jennings, who recorded a century on his Test debut in Mumbai, were determined not to get bogged down.
The duo played positive cricket, scoring 10 boundaries including several elegant sweeps, as they closed in on a century opening stand.
Karun Nair's unbeaten 303 helped India declare their first innings at a record 759-7 on Monday, amassing a 282-run first innings lead.
India have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2016 12:35:48 IST