England has its sights sets on a win that would tie the Test series with India going into the final day of the third Test at Mumbai.
The visitors set India the tough task of 313 for the win and then claimed the early wicket of stand-in opener Irfan Pathan late in the day to leave the home seed reeling on 18-1.
Andrew Flintoff hit 50, sharing a partnership of 66 with Paul Collingwood (32), as England racked up 191 in their second innings after refusing to declare.
Spinner Anil Kumble bowled 28 overs in the day and had the ever-dangerous Flintoff stumped on his way to figures of 4-49.
Only four sides have ever won a Test batting fourth at the Wankhede Stadium, with 163 attained by South Africa six years ago the highest target achieved.
Stacking the odds even further in England's favour, no team has ever scored more than 276 to win a Test in India.
Pathan was pushed up the order for India's massive run-chase because opener Virender Sehwag was ineligible to bat higher than seven after spending most of the day off the field with back trouble.
England's performance with the bat, however, seemed far from attacking during the fourth day of the Test.
England appeared to have little thought of giving India any sight of victory and batted for much of the day with barely an attacking shot offered.
India's classy bowlers contained well and frustrated for the most part, with Kumble employed mainly around the wicket and pace bowlers using packed off-side fields.
However, for India to complete a win on day five it will need to rewrite history in a big way with 313 appearing well out of reach.