London: Rahul Dravid (103 not out) spared India the blushes as he scored his first century at Lord's and helped his side save the follow-on on day three of the first Test on Saturday.
England, after folding India's first innings for 286, made 5/0 in their second essay, thus taking an overall lead of 193 runs.
Andrew Strauss (3) and Alastair Cook (0) were the not out batsmen when stumps were drawn on day three.
Dravid did one thing that Sachin Tendulkar could not do: scoring a ton at Lord's. 'The Wall' of Indian cricket batted in trying circumstances and held the visitors' innings together.
Stuart Broad proved to be the tormentor for the Indians as the lanky pacer got four wickets, while Chris Tremlett was the second successful English bowler with three wickets.
Earlier, after surviving a tricky six-over period before stumps on day two, the Indian openers – Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund - took fresh guard in quest of a solid start following England's declaration of their first innings at 474/8.
After playing England's new-ball bowlers - James Anderson and Tremlett - with caution, both started to collect runs at every possible opportunity.
But young Mukund was left out of breath when he was hit by Tremlett's snorter that hit the grill of his helmet before going to fine leg.
However, once set, the Tamil Nadu batsman punished the loose deliveries bowled by the English seam bowlers.
But after a wicket-less opening hour of the first session, England struck with Gambhir's (15) wicket as Broad clean bowled the Indian opener.
After bowling a little short of a length to the southpaw, Broad pitched one up, with the ball swinging into the batsman before rattling his stumps.
India lost their second wicket when Mukund was bowled by Broad. Just one short of his second half-century, Mukund succumbed to the pressure and dragged a delivery, which was outside his off stump, back on to his stumps.
And in came the master, the man of records, who was greeted by the Lord's crowd with warm applause. Together, Dravid (15) and Tendulkar (10) took India to lunch without any further damage.
After the break, the two legends of the game did what they have been doing for years now. Dravid, in his usual style, dug deep and played some delectable strokes square of the wicket on the off side, while Tendulkar looked in ominous touch from the outset.
The maestro opened his account by punching a James Anderson delivery in the covers region.
But when he was looking good to make a big score, he was surprised by the best English bowler on the park on Saturday.
Broad, who had already taken the wickets of Indian openers, bowled a well-pitched delivery curving away towards the slips. And it took the outside edge of the master's bat before going into the hands of Swann.
Tendulkar could not break the jinx at Lord's as the he fell three short of his highest score (37) at the home of cricket.
India would have been in a precarious situation had Andrew Strauss and Swann not dropped VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in the same Broad over.
The 25-year-old troubled the batsmen by bowling either up to them or pitching it a little short of good length throughout his spells on day three.
VVS Laxman (10) and Suresh Raina (0) followed Tendulkar soon after leaving India in deep trouble.
The visitors were reduced to 193/5 at tea, with Dravid (59) and Dhoni (4) at the crease.
But both played with caution in the session after tea and put India on course to avoid the follow-on.
It was then the turn of Tremlett to jolt India by striking twice with the second new ball as he accounted for Dhoni (28) and Harbhajan Singh (0) in the same over.
Anderson then cleaned up the Indian tail by getting the wickets of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma.