Chris Woakes took his first wicket of the match as he helped England cope with losing Stuart Broad to injury in the fourth Test against India at Old Trafford on Saturday.
India were 33 for one in their second innings at tea on the third day, still 182 runs behind after England had made 367 in their first innings.
Woakes was given the new ball alongside James Anderson after Broad remained off the field having been hit on the nose by a Varun Aaron bouncer while batting earlier Saturday.
Warwickshire all-rounder Woakes had Murali Vijay lbw for 18 with a ball that cut back into the right-hander.
South African umpire Marais Erasmus took his time before raising his finger with Vijay, who believed he had hit the ball, lingering in the crease.
Replays, however, were inconclusive and, with India objections meaning the Decision Review System was not being used this series, ultimately irrelevant to the fact the tourists were now 26 for one.
Gautam Gambhir was 12 not out and Cheteshwar Pujara three not out at tea.
England's hopes of going 2-1 up in the five-match series, with one to play, appeared to have suffered a setback when fast-medium bowler Broad -- who took six for 25 as India were skittled out for 152 in the first innings of this match -- was forced to retire hurt when, after hooking two successive Aaron bouncers for six, he missed trying to make it three in a row.
The gap in class between the new-ball duo of Anderson and Broad and back-up seamers Woakes and Chris Jordan had been a concern for England.
But when England most needed him, Woakes stepped up to the mark.
England resumed Saturday on 237 for six, a lead of 85 runs, after rain and ensuing drainage problems in the outfield had cut short Friday's play by several hours.
Root 48 not out overnight, completed a 103-ball fifty, including five fours, with a three down to fine leg off Singh.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar could have had a wicket when Jos Buttler on 34, aiming legside, got an outside edge but Virat Kohli, diving to his left at gully, dropped the difficult one-handed chance.
Buttler, on his Lancashire home ground, should have been run out for 44 going for a second run but opposing wicketkeeper and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni fumbled a good throw from Aaron.
The 23-year-old, who gave three chances while making a rapid 85 on Test debut in England's 266-run series 1-1 series levelling win at Southampton last time out, then completed another fifty Saturday when he punched Kumar through cover for a sixth four in 108 balls.
All this time Pankaj Singh's long wait for a first Test wicket -- after a debut record worst wicketless return of none for 179 at Southampton -- continued.
But the 6ft 6in paceman was finally rewarded with a spell of two for four in 15 balls with the new ball that saw him dismiss both Root (77) and Buttler (70) after the pair had put on 134 for the seventh wicket.
Singh had Root caught gloving down the legside by Dhoni.
And with Buttler looking to attack, Singh deceived him with a slower ball the batsman could only chip straight to Pujara at mid-off.