London:England need an improbable 444 to win the third and final Test and square the series against India at the Oval on Monday.
At stumps on day four on Sunday, England was 56 without loss after India set them a target of 500 runs to win the Test.
Earlier in the day, India bowled out England in its first innings for 345 runs, thereby taking a lead of 319 runs. The last wicket pair of Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett added 40 runs before Anil Kumble trapped Panesar lbw for nine.
Skipper Rahul Dravid, however, did not enforce the follow on.
India batted again and this time the law of avergaes caught up with them. The visitors struggled at 11 for three before finally declaring the second innings at 180 for six, thanks mainly to a fine fifty by Sourav Ganguly.
The Indian openers walked out in the middle and added just 10 runs before Wasim Jaffer fell to another dubious umpiring decision. Umpire Ian Howell adjudegd Jaffer lbw to a delivery that was way above the stumps. The bowler was James Anderson.
Chris Tremlett then delivered another blow as he had Dinesh Karthik caught by Paul Collingwood at slip for eight. Anderson then picked up a legitimate wicket as he bowled Sachin Tendulkar for one. India was then struggling at 11 for three.
Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly then struck a 65-run partnership to stem the rot. Dravid dropped anchor and held one end. The other end produced vintage Ganguly.
He kept finding the gaps on the off-side and the balls kept finding the fence. The southpaw reached his 29th Test fifty from just 53 balls and hit nine boundaries. Paul Collingwood picked up his wicket, when he edged to Andrew Strauss at slip. Ganguly made 57 from 68 deliveries.
Collingwood then ended Dravid's 96-ball vigil at the crease. He made 12 before giving a catch at Strauss at slip.
VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni added 69 runs before the wicketkeeper-batsman edged a Chris Tremlett delivery to Matt Prior. He made 36.
At the time of declaration, Laxman was 46 not out and Anil Kumble was unbeaten on eight.
The England openers put on 56 runs without any loss. At close of play, Struass was batting on 23 and Alastair Cook was on 27.