Joe Root was the batting saviour as he rebuilt an England innings on the verge of collapse with help from tail end duo Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
The hosts lost six wickets in the second session to fall to 202-7, before solid knocks from Root, Broad and Anderson recovered the total to 352-9 at the close.
The start of the play followed a similar pattern to days one and two, Sam Robson and Gary Ballance content to occupy the crease with runs a second thought. That meant another hour of slow scoring as the right-hand left-hand pair frustrated the Indian bowling attack.
Ballance was the first to break the shackles, at one point smashing six boundaries in just 17 balls. He was the first reach fifty with Robson following shortly after, both batsmen heading into lunch on 59*.
131-1 at lunch quickly became 172-4 though as the man who was targeted in the first session, Ishant Sharma, finally reaped his rewards.
Robson was not to add to his 59, unluckily given out LBW in the second over after the break, replays showing an inside edge would have saved him.
Sharma had his second not long after, Ballance also trapped LBW for 71, this time no questions about the decision.
Ian Bell looked to be weathering the spell nicely as he was his usual elegant self on his way to 25 off just 37 balls.
However, Sharma was back again to pick up the third of his inspired post-lunch spell, Bell surprised by a ball he could only run off the face to MS Dhoni.
Moeen Ali joined Root and the pair would have been eager to show the form they did in the Sri Lanka series, where both men scored centuries.
A second collapse of the day was to put an end to their partnership though, the hosts finding themselves on 202-7, still 255 adrift.
Ali was Mohammed Shami’s only victim of the day, the left-hander trying to evade a short ball only for it to glance his gloves and go straight to first slip.
The hosts’ bad luck wasn’t done there either as the Indians decision not to agree to using the Decision Review System again working in their favour, when Matt Prior was given out caught behind, the noise actually coming from the batsmen flicking his pad.
Two balls later, Ben Stokes gave Bhuvneshwar Kumar his second of four during day three, edging a full length delivery through to keeper Dhoni.
Either side of tea, Root and Broad began the rebuilding process, the latter not holding back on his shots much to the delight of the crowd.
On his home ground, Broad has made 47 off just 42 balls before he was Kumar’s third, LBW having guided England past the follow on. Shortly after Plunkett became the swing bowlers fourth, bowled for seven leaving England still 159 runs short on 298-9.
However, not for the first time, England staged a revival through Root and Anderson. The latter was more the aggressor whilst Root sat back and tried to farm the strike as much as possible.
The pair worked their way to an unbroken 54 run partnership by the close of play, Root unbeaten on 78 and Anderson on 23.
England will go into day four 105 runs behind with the first goal to reduce the deficit to fewer than 100 and give the bowlers a further few hours of rest.
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