JACK Leach claimed two wickets to help England force their way back into the fourth Test against India, only for his old nemesis Rishabh Pant to score a century that swung the pendulum back the way of the hosts.

Somerset spinner Leach (2-66 off 23 overs) combined with James Anderson (3-40 off 20) and Ben Stokes (2-73 off 22) to drag India back to 144-5 in response to England's modest 205 all out.

But England's gamble on just three specialist bowlers, including one - Dom Bess - who was visibly shorn of confidence and unable to exert any control, and Pant made them pay.

He struck 13 fours and two sixes in a brilliant score of 101, showing the kind of form that had seen him plunder four sixes from eight Leach deliveries in the first Test.

With Washington Sundar making 60*, India ended day two with a lead of 89 runs.

Things had been so different at the start of play, with Anderson and Stokes locking down the scoreboard as England allowed just 16 runs in the first hour.

Leach applied the finishing touch to their work, going wicket-to-wicket at Cheteshwar Pujara, who played behind his front pad and fell lbw for 17.

Stokes claimed the prize wickets of Virat Kohli (0) and Rohit Sharma (49), but Bess was serving up too many full-tosses and drag downs when offered the chance to bowl.

Leach returned to dismiss Ravichandran Ashwin (13), having him caught by Ollie Pope at short mid-wicket, but England well and truly lost their way in the final session of the day.

There was nothing flashy about Pant's first 50 runs, but he and Sundar were moving a thinned out bowling unit into position.

With Bess struggling, Stokes flagging in the heat and Joe Root bowling more than he would have liked, they ticked off the 200 and then moved into the lead.

England had invested all their hopes in the second new ball but watched in despair as Pant ran at Anderson's first delivery with it and cracked it hard and flat for four.

Pant was not done yet, switching his grip and flipping Anderson over the wicketkeeper's head to leave the 38-year-old shaking his head in disbelief, and his hundred came in style, swatting Root for six over mid-wicket.

His celebrations were barely complete when he was caught by Root to give the persistent Anderson his third wicket, but Pant had wholly altered the game situation by then, as India ended the day on 294-7.