Paul Farbrace praised the England bowlers' discipline and said two late wickets gave the tourists a lift after centuries from Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara had made it very much India's day in Rajkot.
England took advantage of excellent batting conditions to post 537 in the first game of the series, but it was the turn of the India batsmen to cash in on a flat track on day three.
Opener Vijay made a magnificent 126 and Pujara 124 on his home ground, putting on 209 for the second wicket after Stuart Broad trapped Gautam Gambhir (29) leg before early in the morning session.
Ben Stokes finally got rid of Pujara before Vijay and night-watchman Amit Mishra were dismissed by spinners Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari respectively late in the day, leaving India 319-4 at stumps - trailing by 218.
Farbrace was pleased by the way the England bowlers did not allow India to score too freely on such a placid pitch.
The England assistant coach said: "Those wickets have given us a lift. We bowled at two outstanding batsmen on a very good pitch and had to wait.
"Our plan was to stifle them and the middle session was an outstanding effort from the boys. We make no excuses at trying to make it as difficult as possible to score.
"You couldn't look to be anymore attacking on that surface and I thought our discipline was superb. You talk about staying patient and sticking to you plans and it is great to get the rewards at the end of the day."
The in-form Pujara was disappointed to miss out on reaching 200 in his home city.
He said: "I was hoping to get a double hundred.
"My thinking was because they had so many runs on the board, I did not just want to score a hundred. If I got a double hundred, that would have helped the team."