England were fighting to keep the first Test alive after a double strike from Jasprit Bumrah tightened India’s hold on day three in Hyderabad.
Faced with the unenviable task of overturning a 190-run first-innings deficit, the tourists reached 172 for five at tea, with Ollie Pope unbeaten on 67.
Bumrah took the lead with a magical spell of pace bowling on a pitch that has largely rendered the seamers as an afterthought, removing the fluent Ben Duckett and key man Joe Root.
Pairing speed through the air with devilish reverse swing he sent Duckett’s off-stump flying for 47 and then trapped Root lbw for just two to reassert India’s strong position.
Bumrah’s classy intervention knocked the stuffing from their burgeoning counter-attack and when captain Ben Stokes was beautifully bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin late in the afternoon session the net closed further still.
Play began with India on 421 for seven, adding another 15 before losing their remaining wickets without scoring.
Root snapped up two in two balls, Ravindra Jadeja lbw for 87 and Bumrah castled for a golden duck. Rehan Ahmed provided the finishing touch, zipping one low through Axar Patel and ushering the game along to its decisive moment.
Zak Crawley and Duckett made a typically positive start, zoning out the precarious match situation to clear 45 from the deficit despite considerable scoreboard pressure.
Crawley sent a couple of reverse sweeps to the boundary boards before trying something even more expansive, moving his feet to the pitch and lifting Patel for six down the ground.
He hurried along to 31 in 33 balls but his fun was shut down in the 10th over, Ashwin clipping the outside edge with a precise delivery that nestled in Rohit Sharma’s hands.
Pope started sketchily, busy but uncertain in his movements, while Duckett was poised. Trusting his arsenal of sweeps and reverses he guided the score to 89 for one at lunch, with the hosts’ lead just into three figures.
England continued chipping away until Bumrah returned to the fray early in the afternoon. He should have had Duckett lbw for 39 but saw his appeal shrugged away by the on-field umpire and his captain, who declined to call for DRS.
Root was next to succumb, beaten on the crease after just six balls and trapped in front. He sent the decision upstairs but found no reprieve.
Pope was still making the odd mistake but he rode his luck and continued scoring briskly as he brought up his first half-century in India at nearly a run-a-ball.
England still needed a big partnership and were unable to find one as the spinners found their rhythm.
Jonny Bairstow was bowled for 10 offering no stroke to Jadeja, mis-reading one that skidded on with the arm, and Stokes saw Ashwin clip the top of off with a ball that snaked past his outside edge.