Ravindra Jadeja proved a thorn in England's side with both bat and ball as India took charge of the second Test at Lord's on Sunday.
Jadeja made a dashing 68 before the left-arm spinner struck with his first ball Sunday to have Australia-born opener Sam Robson lbw for seven.
At tea on the fourth day England were 18 for one, needing a further 301 runs to reach their imposing victory target of 319.
One consolation for England was that captain Alastair Cook, looking to end a run of 26 innings without a Test hundred, was still there on five not out, with first-innings century-maker Gary Ballance unbeaten on one.
Only three times in their history have England made more than 300 in the fourth innings to win a Test, most recently when they posted 315 for four against Australia at Leeds in 2001.
At lunch, India were 267 for seven, a lead of 243.
Three quick wickets early in the second session and England would have been well-placed to end their run of nine Tests without a win.
But the first 10 overs after lunch saw Jadeja and seamer Bhuvneswhwar Kumar score 66 runs.
Jadeja made a dashing fifty while tailender Kumar was last man out for 52 -- his third fifty in four innings this series.
The pair put on 99 for the eighth wicket with Kumar, whose six for 82 in England's first innings was the second time this campaign he'd taken Test-best bowling figures, more than playing his part.
India resumed in overcast conditions on 169 for four, with Murali Vijay 59 not out and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni unbeaten on 12.
The pair put on 79 before Dhoni fell for a laboured 19, caught by second slip Ian Bell off Liam Plunkett (three for 65) before Stuart Binny holed out off part-time spinner Moeen Ali for a duck.
After England took the new ball, James Anderson was soon bowling to Jadeja, with both players facing the possibility of being banned as a result of their alleged confrontation in the Trent Bridge pavilion during last week's drawn first Test.
But in sight of his second hundred of the series opener Vijay, who made 146 in Nottingham, fell for 95 when he flicked an Anderson delivery to wicketkeeper Matt Prior after more than six hours at the crease
However, the swashbuckling Jadeja drove Broad back over his head for four.
Meanwhile Kumar made England pay for when fourth slip Joe Root dropped him on two, also off Broad.
Jadeja did to Anderson what he had already done to Broad before Kumar showed his class by upper-cutting Anderson over the slips to the vacant third man boundary.
England were becoming increasingly ragged as exemplified by a wasteful Broad bouncer that sailed down the leg-side for four byes to give India a lead of 300 runs.