England bowled out India for 337 but spared them the ignominy of the follow-on as the tourists went into lunch on the penultimate day of the opening test with a 242-run lead on Monday.
England, who posted a mammoth 578 in their first innings, then lost opener Rory Burns to the very first ball from Ravichandran Ashwin and were 1-1 at the break.
Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence, both yet to open their account, will return after lunch with England hoping to bat India out of the contest.
Earlier, Washington Sundar smashed 85 not out, adding 80 runs with Ashwin in a spirited seventh-wicket stand at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai to take India past the 300-mark.
After the hosts had resumed on 257-6, Sundar picked up regular boundaries while Ashwin gamely hung on at the other end.
Armed with the second new ball, Jofra Archer occasionally generated disconcerting bounce on a low track but was not rewarded with a wicket.
Jack Leach had bled 94 runs in his 17 wicketless overs on Sunday but the left-arm spinner finally tasted success when he dismissed Ashwin for 31 and went on to claim the wicket of Shahbaz Nadeem (nought) as well.
James Anderson claimed the last two Indian wickets towards the end of the morning session, leaving England to play two overs before the lunch break.