India's batsmen failed for the fifth consecutive time in the series. Their poor showing left the team in shambles and on the verge of another humiliation, on Day 2 of the fourth and final Test against England, in Nagpur, on Friday.
Unlike the Indians, who tried to play on the batsmen's patience, the English bowlers went in straight for the kill. Their aggressive approach had the hosts reeling at 87 for 4 at stumps, after Joe Root and Graeme Swann had earlier scored 73 and 56 respectively on the slow wicket as England were dismissed for 330 in the first innings.
James Anderson then shone with the ball, claiming three wickets for 24, including big guns Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Piyush Chawla, who took four for 69 in the first innings, however, still feels India can stage a comeback on Day 3 if Virat Kohli (11) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (8) bat sensibly in the first session.
"The morning session will be important. If we manage to play around 30-45 minutes without losing a wicket we will be in a good position," he said, at the end of Friday's proceedings at the VCA stadium.
Chawla's inclusion in the team for the Nagpur Test had left many bemused, and not without reason. The 23-year-old has been a better batsman than bowler for Uttar Pradesh in this year's Ranji Trophy, scoring 303 runs in four matches, at an average of 75.75, while bagging ten wickets and averaging 54.3 with the ball.
"If you consider the type of wickets on which we played the Ranji Trophy matches this season, I would say I did well. We were playing mostly on seaming tracks, so I would say my performance was good in that sense," he said.
Cheteshwar Pujara scored 26 before he was unfortunately adjudged caught at short leg off Graeme Swann after he added 58 for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir, who scored 37.
Pujara's dismissal triggered a mini collapse, as India lost three wickets for 12 runs in the space of nine overs and ended the day 243 runs behind England's total.
India will take heart from the fact that their lower order batsmen have been in good form. Ravindra Jadeja recently scored two triple centuries in the Ranji Trophy and R Ashwin has aggregated 214 runs in five innings, with two half-centuries, in this series.
"We lost a few quick wickets, but we still have two quality batsmen at the crease and they are having a good partnership and seeing the ball really well. Let's hope for the best, because the way these guys are middling the ball we could have a good session tomorrow," said Chawla.
Despite repeatedly failing, the leg-spinner refused to blame the batsmen for India's poor showing in the series, in which they trail 1-2.
"This is a phase that happens. It is not that our batting has flopped big time; we have managed to get around 300-350 in every match. It has not affected the bowlers because, as a bowling unit, we have done well," he said.
Chawla expressed satisfaction with his performance in the Test, his first after four years.
"There is always pressure whenever you play, but there was little bit more pressure this time, because I was making a comeback to the Indian team after a long wait of four years. But, I think, I did well today," he said.