Gary Ballance's superb century ensured the second Test stayed finely balanced after two days play at the Home of Cricket.
Ballance made 110 as England reached 219/6 by the close, still trailing India by 76 runs and would have been in a much stronger position but for a couple of late wickets, as Ballance and Moeen Ali (32) both fell late on in a fascinating day of cricket.
But England will still be happy with the position of the game, while India will rue allowing Ballance the chance after he gifted the tourists a gilt-edged opportunity when on 32.
With England struggling following the early losses of captain Alastair Cook, Sam Robson and Ian Bell, Ballance edged Stuart Binny at waist height between 'keeper and first-slip, only for MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli to look at each other and the ball to sail away for four.
That aside it was a near perfect innings for a track which offered something for both seamers and spinners throughout, showing discipline outside off stump and punishing the bad ball. The four through mid-wicket which brought up his century - ironically off Binny - was his 14th.
However, Ballance will have been dissapointed not to see the day through and with Ali also succumbing late on - when he missed a straight one from Vijay and was trapped LBW - India may well be the happier of the two camps going into day three.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers for the tourists, as his 4/46 helped remove England's top order. No doubt the 24-year-old will have one eye on the Lord's Honours Boards tomorrow morning when play resumes.