Chennai: A century from Moeen Ali and Joe Root 88 as England reached 284 for four at stumps on the day of the fifth and final Test against India in Chennai on Friday.
Moeen, dropped on nought, shared 146 for the third wicket with Root after the tourists had been reduced to 21-2.
When Root was given out caught behind on review, Moeen added 86 with Jonny Bairstow (49) and ended the day 120 not out as England reached 284-4.
Ali (120) and Ben Stokes (five) were at the crease after the visitors elected to bat first.
Joe Root (88) also stood out with his defiant knock as India's Ravindra Jadeja claimed three wickets
India already have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
The momentum has been with the hosts since the drawn first Test, but they were punished for some sloppy moments - as well as the chance missed off Moeen, Root was given a let-off on nine.
After a difficult morning on a surface offering only slow turn, England positively took the upper hand and must capitalise on day two to bat India out of the match, a task that has been beyond them so far on this tour.
England were in trouble early on the Indian bowlers struck early blows to dismiss openers Alistair Cook and Keaton Jennings cheaply.
With the visitors struggling at 21/2, Root and Ali came together to add 146 runs between them to take them out of trouble.
Root was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a well-deserved century as he was snared by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja while on 88 following an unsuccessful review.
Jadeja was the most successful among the Indian bolwers with figures of 3-73.
Pacer Ishant Sharma struck the first blow for the hosts by sending back the in-form Jennings.
The England opener attempted to drive a delivery which was slightly outside the off-stump only to offer an easy chance to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
Jadeja continued his excellent record against Cook, inducing an outer edge from the England captain that was snapped up by his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli in the slips.
It was the fifth time in the series that Jadeja had dismissed Cook.
The hosts will have to wait quite a while before having the chance to celebrate another wicket as Root and Ali took on the task of bringing the visitors' innings back on track.
Jadeja finally broke the partnership shortly before tea when Root tried to sweep one which was spinning away.
Television replays revealed that the ball had taken a slight nick off the lower edge of the bat on its way to the wicketkeeper after Root decided to review the umpire's decision.
England - 284 for 4 (Moeen 120*, Root 88, Jadeja 3-73)