Mohali: Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja led India's fightback after the hosts lost quick wickets in the final session as the duo propelled the team to 271 for 6 at stumps on Day 2 in Mohali on Sunday.
Ashwin (57*), who notched up his ninth Test fifty, and Jadeja (31*) added 67 runs for seventh wicket after India had slid from 148 for 2 to 204 for 6. India still trail by 12 runs in response to England's first innings total of 283.
For England, leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed three wickets while pacer Ben Stokes took two wickets.
India were cruising nicely at 148 for 2 until tea, after which a resurgent England wreaked havoc to claim three wickets in the space of 19 deliveries and eight runs.
India, who rode on half-centuries from skipper Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ashwin, were reduced to 156 for 5 before bouncing back.
Rashid struck on the second delivery after tea to end Pujara's dogged resistance. Pujara (51), who recorded his 11th Test half-century, put on 75 runs for the third wicket with Kohli (62).
Rashid then got a struggling Ajinkya Rahane for nought in his very second over of the session after trapping the batsman lbw.
But it was Jos Buttler who drew the biggest cheers from the visiting crowd after his sharp fielding from point got debutant Karun Nair (4) run out with a direct throw.
However Kohli stayed composed to record his 14th Test fifty as he soldiered on with Ashwin to try and rebuild the innings.
Stokes claimed the prized wicket of Kohli after the star batsman was caught behind.
Stokes, who was reprimanded on Saturday for using offensive language after getting out and exchanging words with Kohli, put his hand over his mouth as the skipper walked back.
Kohli had put up stubborn resistance against a disciplined English pace attack that put up a strong show on a pitch expected to turn as the match progresses.
Earlier, returning wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel (42) gave the hosts a sturdy start before being trapped lbw off Rashid in the fourth over after lunch.
India lead the five-match series 1-0.