A four-match affair largely characterised by high entertainment value and attractive viewing fell prey to three sessions of defensive, boring cricket on Sunday.

Battling for the advantage on day four of the fourth and final Test, India didn't do enough to truly challenge, while England kept their sights firmly on series victory in Nagpur.

Resuming on 297 for eight in response to the visitors' first-innings effort of 330 all out, India's tail-enders showed little ambition of chasing a lead. Instead, they effectively blocked out the first hour of play, bringing a tame declaration from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton gradually added to the four-run edge, laying the ground work for a total and a lead that climbed to 161 for three and 165 respectively by the close of play.

A prolific series for the left-handed Cook came to an unfortunate end, with the captain given out caught behind despite evidence of an outside edge. Having faced 93 deliveries for his mere 13 runs, the opener was understandably aggrieved to have his dogged cut short by umpire Kumar Dharmasena's error.

Compton departed some 16 overs later, also out lbw. Again television replays revealed the involvement of bat, but Dharmasena's decision stood - although the batsman would have been caught in the slips regardless.

The right-handed Kevin Pietersen came and went relatively quickly, choosing to leave a straight delivery from spinner Ravindra Jadeja that cannoned into the stumps.

His departure left the in-form Jonathan Trott and struggling Ian Bell to an important, unbroken stand of 67 for the fourth wicket. Trott and Bell, for their 66 not out and 24 not out respectively, successfully staved off a barrage of verbal shtick from Dhoni and company.

The South African-born Trott was particularly sound, reaching the 14th half-century of his Test career. More runs await in the new week, perhaps an eighth ton in trying conditions.

The day, however, was not a great advertisement for Test match cricket, bringing run-rates that hardly exceeded two per over. England won't mind the pedestrian nature of their time at the crease, while the home side will now full well only a glut of first-session wickets on Monday will prevent the ignominy of series defeat in their own backyard.