NAGPUR  - A desperate India's push for a series-levelling win was met with a dogged resistance from England who rode on Jonathan Trott's gritty half-century to overcome a nervous phase as the fourth and final Test seemed headed for a draw on Sunday.

India batted for one hour in the morning before declaring their first innings at 326 for nine, four runs behind England, but could not make sufficient inroads as England reached 161 for three at close of an absorbing fourth day's play.

The hosts needed quick wickets but the fourth day track at the VCA stadium did not show any signs of deterioration as England batted out the day without seeming to be under any major discomfort. Trott (66) and Ian Bell (24) were batting at stumps, with England having an overall lead of 165 runs.

With just one day let in the game, a draw appears to be the likely result though all four outcomes -- an Indian win, England win, tie and a draw -- can still be possible. India will need to dismiss England as quickly as possible on Monday and score the required runs to entertain hopes of a series-levelling win. England will be quite content with a draw which would be enough to give them their first Test series triumph on Indian soil in 28 years. The David Gower-led England team had last won a series in 1984-85.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept shuffling his bowlers in a bid to break through the England innings but the English batsmen applied themselves well to keep the hosts at bay, much to the disappointment of a seizable holiday crowd.

England were at a shaky 94 for three at one stage with captain Alastair Cook (13), Nick Compton (34) and Kevin Pietersen (6) back in the pavilion but Trott and Bell ensured that there were no further setbacks with a defiant 67-run partnership.

Trott was however a little lucky as a confident appeal for caught behind off Ishant Sharma was turned down by umpire Kumar Dharmasena, leading to some heated words being exchanged between Trott and Virat Kohli after the over.

Cook was controversially declared caught behind after making a painstaking 13 in 105 minutes, to Ravichandran Ashwin, while his opening partner Compton was given out leg before to Pragyan Ojha to leave England at 81 for two at tea.

The England skipper seemed to have clearly missed edging the ball to Dhoni, but was given out wrongly by Kumar Dharmasena for the second time in the match. Replays also showed that Compton had been given out off an inside edge by Rod Tucker, though the ball was caught at slip by Kohli at gully on the full. Soon after tea debutant Ravindra Jadeja disturbed Pietersen's off stump when the England batsman offered no stroke expecting the ball to turn away.

The visitors, clearly aiming to draw the match, added only 64 runs in 33.4 overs between lunch and tea after they were 17 for no loss in 13 overs at lunch. They were more attacking in the last session, scoring 80 in 32.2 overs.

In the morning, India conceded a four-run first innings lead by declaring their first innings after an hour's play. The hosts, replying to the visitors' first innings score of 330 and resuming at an overnight 297 for eight, lost the wicket of Ojha, before closing their innings.

Kohli and Trott exchange words on Day four

NAGPUR (Agencies) - Virat Kohli and Jonathan Trott were involved in a verbal duel during the fourth day of the final Test between India and England on Sunday.

Trott, batting on 43 in England's second innings total of 123 for three, tried to cut a short delivery from pacer Ishant Sharma which was taken behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni who threw it up high in the air in delight only to see his claim and that of other team members rejected by umpire Kumar Dharmasena.

Following Dharmasena turning down the confident appeal, Kohli ran up to the batsman for an exchange of words after which square leg umpire Rod Tucker summoned Dhoni and spoke to him.

It was not clear from TV replays whether Trott had edged Sharma or not. Earlier, Cook had stood his ground when he was declared out caught behind for 13 by Dharmasena and left the field reluctantly after his first twin-failure in this four-game series. He was out for one in the first innings.




(OVERNIGHT: 297-8)

G Gambhir c Prior b Anderson    37

V Sehwag b Anderson    0

C Pujara c Bell b Swann    26

S Tendulkar b Anderson    2

V Kohli lbw b Swann    103

MS Dhoni run out    99

R Jadeja lbw b Anderson    12

R Ashwin not out    29

P Chawla b Swann    1

P Ojha b Panesar    3

I Sharma not out    2

EXTRAS: (b 5, lb 7)    12

TOTAL: (9 wkts decl; 143 overs)    326

FOW: 1-1, 2-59, 3-64, 4-71, 5-269, 6-288, 7-295, 8-297, 9-317 

BOWLING: J Anderson 32-5-81-4, T Bresnan 26-5-69-0, M Panesar 52-15-81-1, G Swann 31-10-76-3, J Trott 1-0-2-0, J Root 1-0-5-0


A Cook c Dhoni b Ashwin    13

N Compton lbw b Ojha    34

J Trott not out    66

K Pietersen b Jadeja    6

I Bell not out    24

EXTRAS: (b 8, lb 6, nb 4)    18

TOTAL: (3 wickets; 79 overs)    161

FOW: 1-48, 2-81, 3-94

BOWLING: I Sharma 12-3-27-0, P Ojha 23-10-39-1, R Ashwin 18-9-34-1, P Chawla 10-2-20-0, R Jadeja 16-9-27-1

TOSS: England