A magnificent 159 by Ian Bell and some uninspiring bowling by the Indians allowed England to march to an imposing total of 441/6 at the end of day three of the second Test at Nottingham on Sunday.
At stumps, Matt Prior was sitting pretty on 64 while Tim Bresnan was giving him company on 47 as the home team extended their lead to 374.
Prior and Bresnan stretched their unbeaten stand to 102 after India struck back with quick wickets in the post tea session.
Yuvraj Singh dismissed Bell who edged a rising delivery to first slip where VVSLaxman took a sharp catch.
Praveen Kumar then picked up Eoin Morgan's wicket for 70, and was unlucky not to get Jonathan Trott off the very next delivery.
It looked like a clear leg before wicket decision but the umpire ruled the batsman not out. Trott, though did not survive long and was finally out in Praveen's next over for just two.
Earlier, in a magnanimous move, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni called back Bell after the latter was declared run out under bizarre circumstances off the last ball before tea.
Morgan flicked the ball off his legs and a sprawling dive by Praveen Kumar at the deep square leg boundary prevented the ball from touching the boundary skirting.
Bell assuming that tea had been called jogged up to Morgan and the two batsmen started walking off before the bails were whipped off at the batsman's end.
The decision was referred to third umpire Billy Bowden who gave the decision in favour of the fielding team which was reversed subsequently.
Bell and Morgan pressed on for England after the loss of Kevin Pietersen as the home team went into tea at 252/4.
Pietersen struck seven boundaries and scored 63 before nicking one to MS Dhoni off the bowling of S Sreesanth.
England progressed to 130/2 at lunch with Bell on 84 and Pietersen on 20 as the hosts moved ahead by 63 runs with eight second innings wickets still in their bag.
Sreesanth struck a crucial blow for India by sending back England skipper Andrew Strauss as the hosts carried on from their overnight score of 24/1.
Strauss who made 16 put on 51 runs with Bell for the second wicket before edging a delivery to his opposite number Dhoni behind the stumps.