England are closing in on their first Test series win in India since 1985.
The tourists finished day four of the fourth and final Test at 3-161 in 79 overs at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur on Sunday.
Jonathon Trott goes into Monday's final day on 66 not out while Ian Bell is unbeaten on 24.
England lead by 165 runs after another dull day that saw India declare their first innings at 9-326 when trailing by four runs.
A wicket each for Pragyan Ojha, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja gave India hope of a series-levelling win but Trott and Bell ensured that, barring a miracle, the final day of the four-Test series is unlikely to be exciting.
The penultimate day started with India resuming from 8-297 and the hosts played for an hour and lost Pragyan Ojha to Monty Panesar (1-81) before MS Dhoni declared with Ashwin (29) and Ishant Sharma (2) at the crease.
England openers Alastair Cook (13) and Nick Compton (34) looked content to play for time, scoring 17 runs in 13 overs until lunch.
The trend continued in the second session with the run rate hovering around 1.5 per over.
Desperate to get wickets, luck went India's way when Cook was adjudged caught behind by MS Dhoni off Ashwin with the score on 48 in the 30th over with replays suggesting the skipper had not edged the ball.
England's second wicket was also controversial as Compton, who put on 33 with Trott, fell LBW to Ojha with replays showing a little inside edge.
The wickets in the second session gave India hope and the hosts attacked the England batsmen at the start of the final session.
They were rewarded when Kevin Pietersen (6) shouldered arms to a Jadeja delivery that came in with the arm and clipped the off-stump.
England were 3-94 in 55.5 overs at that stage and a few more wickets would have given India realistic hopes of chasing a victory.
But Trott was firm in defence and decisive when attacking and received good support from Bell with the pair putting on 67 runs in 23.1 overs, the most productive period for the visitors.
First Posted 16 December, 2012 11:08PM AEST