London - Moeen Ali fell to the final ball before lunch, denting England's hopes of saving the second Test against India as the hosts reached 173 for five on the final day at Lord's on Monday.
Resuming on 105 for four and needing 319 for victory, Root and Moeen added 68 runs before Moeen was out for 39 to a short ball from Ishant Sharma.
Root will resume on 52 in the afternoon session accompanied by Matt Prior.
England have failed to win any of their last nine Test matches, while India are looking to secure their first victory away from home since 2011 and go one up in the five-match series.
The touring side had reduced England to 72 for four midway through Sunday's final session, before Root and Moeen survived the last hour.
India opened the final day with the off-spin of Ravindra Jadeja in the hope of exploiting the wearing pitch.
However, other than the odd problem caused by variable bounce, Root and Moeen showed commendable poise in a testing opening session as England look to complete an unlikely victory.
Root brought up his half-century with his third boundary off Sharma's 16th over as the run-rate slowly increased later in the session.
The pair looked to have survived the morning session before a brute of a delivery from Sharma forced Moeen to fend off the ball to Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg.
Both teams will be conscious of the looming new ball, due shortly after play resumes, which could prove to be the defining point of an enthralling match.
The first Test at Trent Bridge was drawn. – Reuters