Jonathan Trott. -File photo

KARACHI: Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell steadied England after a nervous start to the second innings as the tourists closed in on an historic series victory in India in Nagpur on Sunday.

England, who lead the series 2-1, closed the fourth day of the final Test on 161 for three, with a lead of 165.

Earlier, India declared on 326 for nine and England lost their openers quickly with Alastair Cook caught out by MS Dhoni off Ravi Ashwin and Nick Compton given out lbw to Pragyan Ojha. Kevin Pietersen was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja after scoring just six runs.

Trott (66) and Ian Bell (24), who will continue batting on the fifth and final day, put a partnership of 67 to steady England's nerves against an Indian side eager to level the series.

Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott praised Trott and Bell's partnership, saying Bell had played sensibly.

"Trott has scored delightfully, he's looked at ease and has scored relatively quickly, while Bell has played sensibly for once," he said.

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