Southampton: Ajinkya Rahane scored a gutsy unbeaten half-century as India reached a not too comfortable 214 for five at tea, on the third day of the third cricket Test, here today.
India are left dangling in a dangerous position with another 156 runs still needed in order to save the follow-on.
Having scored a classy hundred at Lord's in the second Test, Rahane again came to the fore with an unbeaten 52 even as some of his illustrious teammates threw their wickets away after getting starts.
Rahane added 74 for the fifth wicket with Rohit Sharma (28), who looked in good nick before committing a harakiri when he decided to step-out to Moeen Ali's part-time off-break only to provide Stuart Broad at mid-off with simplest of catches.
This was after Virat Kohli (39) showed glimpses of returning back to form but his nemesis Jimmy Anderson bowled full swinging delivery which he nibbled to Alastair Cook at first slip.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was batting on two alongside Rahane when the umpires called for tea.
The post-lunch session started with Kohli and Rahane looking to build a partnership. But they could only go as far as 48 runs before India lost another wicket.
This time it was the big one of Kohli, who had until then, fought hard with patience and determination before Anderson accounted for Kohli.
Rohit then walked to the crease, getting his first chance in this series. He started well, rotating the strike with Rahane, as Moeen Ali (1-37) was deployed from one end. Rohit used his feet well against the part-time spinner while Rahane was watchful yet scoring at a decent pace.
They got the scoreboard ticking again and soon celebrated their 50-run partnership, the mark coming off only 78 balls in the 61st over of the innings.
Two overs later Rahane celebrated his half-century, another sterling effort after the hundred at Lord's. He reached there off 92 balls, with five fours. The 200-run mark for India also came up in the same over.
But then, Rohit played a careless stroke in a bid to keep on attacking Ali, throwing caution to the wind as tea-time approached, and holed out to Broad at mid-off.
Earlier, Broad (2-34) bowled a brilliant spell in the morning session to reduce the visitors to 88/3 at one stage.