Southampton: England captain Alastair Cook set India a record target of 445 to win the third Test after England declared their second innings on 205 for four on the fourth day at Southampton on Wednesday.
Cook called a halt when he himself was 70 not out after Joe Root (56) was bowled by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (three for 52) to force an early tea, with 42 overs left in the day's play.
Left-handed opener Cook and Root added 99 in just 87 balls as England pressed for their first win in 11 Tests.
The most any side has made in the fourth innings to win a Test is the 418 for seven West Indies achieved against Australia at St John's in 2002/03.
India's highest total in the fourth innings to win a Test is 406 for four against the West Indies at Port of Spain in 1975/76, with their next best winning chase the 287 for four they posted against England at Chennai in 2008.
Earlier, James Anderson marked his 32nd birthday with two quick wickets to wrap up India's first innings for 330, leaving England 239 runs ahead.
Anderson took two wickets for one run in six balls to finish with five for 53 in 26.1 overs — the 16th time in 97 Tests he had taken five wickets in an innings.
He had India captain Mahendra Dhoni, top-edging a pull, caught behind for his overnight 50 by debutant wicketkeeper Jos Buttler before the same combination saw off Mohammed Shami (five).
Cook, perhaps wary of bowling Anderson and Broad, carrying a knee injury, 'into the ground', decided not to enforce the follow-on, with rest periods for bowlers at a premium in a five-Test series condensed into just 42 days.
England, 1-0 down after India's 95-run second Test win at Lord's, then went in search of quick runs.
But Australia-born opener Sam Robson (13) fell in worryingly familiar fashion when he nicked a fine Bhuvneshwar Kumar ball that cut away to Shikhar Dhawan at first slip.
However, Gary Balance — who made a Test-best 156 in England's first innings 569 for seven declared — again showed a good understanding of the match situation.
The Zimbabwe-born left-hander struck three fours in four balls, driving both Kumar and Shami down the ground.
Ballance then lofted spinner Rohit Sharma high over long-off for six.
But his enterprising knock ended when he was given out caught at short leg off Jadeja.
Replays showed that while the ball had hit his pad and thigh, it had missed Ballance's glove.
But with no Decision Review System this series he had to walk off.
Ian Bell, off the field for much of on Tuesday's play with a finger injury, having made his first hundred in 20 Test innings with 167 earlier in this match, was bowled on the sweep by Jadeja for 23.
But Cook swept Jadeja for four to complete his second fifty of the match in 93 balls.
It was the first time Cook, who made 95 in the first innings, had scored two fifties in a Test since his 96 and 106 against Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2011.
Meanwhile Root kept the runs coming.
He scored 13 in one Kumar over, including three fours, with a cheeky scoop over his shoulder followed by two powerful drives down the ground.
Root was eventually bowled by Jadeja to end a 41-ball innings featuring nine boundaries.