New Delhi: A listless India faced the prospect of an embarrasing series whitewash after yet another batting collapse left them struggling at 103 for five at stumps on third day of the fourth Test at The Ovals.

India vs England: 4th Test
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Team India to play for pride at Oval

England declared their innings at 591 for six on a rain-hit third day.

The hosts rode on Ian Bell's (235) maiden double century and Kevin Pietersen's 175 to pile up an imposing first innings total and then had the Indians on the mat after riping through their top-order on a Oval track which still seems good for batting.

The visitors, who need to draw the match to avoid slipping to the number three position in the ICC Test Championship Table, lost the wickets of Virender Sehwag (8), VVS Laxman (2), Sachin Tendulkar (23), Suresh Raina (0) and night watchman Ishant Sharma (1) on the extended final session of the day to give England the upperhand in the match.

Rahul Dravid was the only batsmen to have shown some fight with a gritty 57 that came of 108 balls while giving him company was skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) when stumps were drawn on the third day of the match, which was marred by a three-hour rain interruption soon after lunch.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann was the pick of the English bowlers, scalping three wickets for 27 runs.

With two full days of cricket left and with India's batting looking brittle, it will prove to be a herculean task for the battered visitors to save the match and avoid a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of England.

Earlier, replying to England's mammoth total India were forced to change the batting order yet again as Gautam Gambhir did not open the innings because of a pre-cautionary medical check-up for mild concussion after he hurt himself on the second day on Friday.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Amit Mishra, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh and S Sreesanth.

England: Andrew Strauss (C), Alastair Cook, KP Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ian Bell, Eoin Moragn, Ravi Bopara, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

Umpires: Simon Taufel and R Tucker

TV umpire: Steve Davis

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle.