Alastair Cook made an untroubled start to his final England innings after the team had bowled India out for 292 on day three of the fifth Specsavers Test at the Oval for a lead of 40 runs.
At tea, Cook, who is retiring from international cricket after this Test, was unbeaten on 13 out of the hosts’ 20 without loss from nine overs.
His walk to the crease was accompanied throughout by a standing ovation as the crowd made its appreciation clear for England’s all-time record run-scorer. There was also a handshake, before he took guard, from India captain Virat Kohli.
Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja had posted 86 not out and debutant Hanuma Vihari 56 for the tourists, who had started the day 158 runs adrift on 174 for six.
The opening session saw England frustrated in their attempts to make a breakthrough, with Jadeja and Vihari flourishing in a 77-run stand, until Moeen Ali struck, having the latter caught behind pushing forward.
India were on 240 for seven at lunch, and shortly after Moeen had his second wicket, an action replay as Ishant Sharma also got a thin edge behind to one that drifted on with the arm. Mohammed Shami then got greedy against Adil Rashid, holing out at long-on to leave India 260 for nine.
They would have been all out without addition if Keaton Jennings had held a sharp catch at silly-point when Rashid turned his googly to take number 11 Jasprit Bumrah’s inside-edge and pad first ball – instead, the drop cost England 32 runs.
Bumrah was then run out chancing a single as Jadeja tried to farm the strike from the last ball of the over.