England were battling to save the fourth test, and the series, as they were reduced to 182-6 in 47.3 overs at stumps on day four Sunday with the hosts still 49 runs ahead.
At the close of play Jonny Bairstow was unbeaten on 50 runs.
Joe Root (77) continued the battle with Bairstow for company through much of the third session. The duo added 92 runs for the fourth wicket.
The 50-mark came up in the 15th over, while Root brought up his 26th test half-century off 75 balls, inclusive of eight fours.
Root, after surviving a DRS review for caught behind, was dismissed in the 35th over when Jayant Yadav (1-39) trapped him lbw.
Bairstow continued to battle on at the other end. He survived two DRS reviews, one for caught behind and the other for caught at short leg.
He then went on to complete a counter-attacking 14th test half-century off 89 deliveries.
Stokes was unluckily caught at slip off Ashwin, after the ball hit his boot off a reverse sweep and bounced to Murali Vijay.
Jake Ball (2) had come out to bat ahead of Jos Buttler then, and he was dismissed in the final over of the day, caught behind from what proved to be the last delivery.