​​​​​​India's number eight batsman Shardul Thakur smashed his second fifty of the match and Rishabh Pant his first of the series to stretch their lead to 346 at tea on the penultimate day of the fourth test against England on Sunday.

India rode their 100-run partnership to reach 445-8 at The Oval with Jasprit Bumrah batting on 19 alongside Umesh Yadav on 13.

It was a strong recovery by the touring side who lost three wickets, including captain Virat Kohli, after resuming on 270-3.

Kohli's partnership with Ravindra Jadeja had yielded 59 runs when Joe Root brought back Chris Woakes and the all-rounder, playing his first test in 12 months, responded with two quick wickets.

Woakes trapped Jadeja plumb in front for 17, and three balls later, Ajinkya Rahane was also adjudged lbw after leaving a delivery.

The India vice-captain reviewed the decision and survived after replays confirmed the ball would have gone just over the stumps.

There was no such doubt in Woakes's next over, however, when he beat Rahane's tentative bat and hit the pad to dismiss the out-of-form batsman for a duck.

With left-hander Pant at the crease, Root introduced Moeen and the off-spinner got Kohli caught at slip six runs shy of what could have been the batsman's third fifty in as many innings.

Thakur had smashed a 36-ball 57 in the first innings and he followed with a relatively restrained 60, which included a towering six off Ollie Robinson.

Both batsmen, however, fell in successive overs -- Thakur edging Root to slip and Pant giving a return catch to Moeen soon after completing his fifty.

India coach Ravi Shastri tested positive for COVID-19 and the team were cleared to play after the players returned two negative results.

The five-test series is level at 1-1.