Cheteshwar Pujara recorded his second successive half-century for India but England fought back to remain in contention during the fourth Specsavers Test match at the Ageas Bowl.
The 30-year-old hit 72 in the second innings of the tourists’ third Test victory at Trent Bridge and he maintained that good form with an unbeaten 70 to help his side to 181 for five at tea – trailing by 65 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul both fell cheaply in the first session to bring captain Virat Kohli to the crease and he soon became the second fastest Indian batsman to reach 6000 Test runs when he edged James Anderson ball for a boundary.
However, Sam Curran found the edge of the talisman’s bat which stuck into hands of Alastair Cook to dismiss Kohli for 46, but Pujara moved to his 50 two balls later.
Ajinkya Rahane was out for just 11 as Ben Stokes trapped him lbw to reduce the score to 161 for four, but Pujara pushed on despite a blow to the head from a Stokes bouncer before Rishabh Pant fell to Moeen Ali for a 29-ball duck with the final delivery of the middle session.
India started the day on 19 without loss but they could only add 18 runs to their overnight score before Stuart Broad made the breakthrough by trapping Lokesh Rahul in front for 19, despite the efforts of a review by the batsman, before also claiming the wicket of fellow opener Dhawan for 23.