Buttler (89) marked his 28th birthday by top-scoring for the fourth time in England’s last five innings as he and Stuart Broad’s ninth-wicket stand of 98 underpinned a recovery from 198-7 at start of play to 332 all out.
Then in an impressive, occasionally bad-tempered but very skillful third spell of 6-2-8-2, James Anderson struck in successive overs to put himself just two wickets short of Glenn McGrath’s world-record 563 for any pace bowler.
As the old ball swung, Ben Stokes got in on the act with two late wickets – including prolific India captain Virat Kohli – in a stumps total of 174-6.
England had surprisingly dominated the morning – thanks to their driving force Buttler.
He received support from Adil Rashid and then especially Broad as England put themselves back on the front foot in pursuit of a 4-1 series scoreline.
Jasprit Bumrah pinned Rashid lbw, and Broad entered the equation on a still under-par 214-8.
England’s number 10 had 10 of a further 20 runs when Bumrah struck him a painful blow to his shoulder.
Far from losing his appetite for the battle, though, Broad’s concentration appeared redoubled.
India were unable to stop England’s charge for 20 overs until Broad tried to hit Ravindra Jadeja (4-79) over the top and fell to a brilliant catch by KL Rahul – chasing back from mid-on to dive and hold a skier.
There was to be no birthday hundred for Buttler, but he was not done with just yet.
Most Test wickets agains India:— BrokenStats (@Broken_Statz) September 8, 2018
107* James Anderson(51 inns)
105 M Muralitharan(32 inns)
94 Imran Khan(38 inns)
76 MD Marshall(30 inns)
69* Stuart Broad(35 inns)#INDvENG
He hit Bumrah for two sixes in three balls – into the crowd over long-on and then a hook towards the dressing-rooms – before he was last out, caught at slip trying to farm more runs off Jadeja.
By then, England’s last three wickets had put on 151 runs, and the onus was on India – all the more so after Broad had Shikhar Dhawan lbw.
Rahul responded, in company with the much more cautious Cheteshwar Pujara, in a second-wicket stand of 64 which ended when Sam Curran bowled the opener.
The all-rounder had his first Test wicket on his home ground, hinting at his habitual inswing but then getting the ball to leave Rahul off the pitch and take his off-bail.
Kohli survived thanks to a tight umpire’s call on 16 when Anderson thought he had him lbw – only for replays to vindicate Kumar Dharmasena’s on-field judgement of impact outside off-stump.
Anderson’s mood was lightened when Pujara edged behind, and then Ajinkya Rahane got a little more bat on the swinging ball and was caught at slip for a duck.
Debutant Hanuma Vihari made a nervy start, twice narrowly surviving Broad lbw appeals on nought, before keeping his captain company in a half-century stand.
But Kohli fell one short of his 50 when he edged a drive at Stokes to his opposite number at second slip, and left-hander Rishabh Pant was then caught at first in near mirror image.
Former England captain Andrew Strauss labelled retiring opener Alastair Cook as England’s “greatest ever player”.
Cook, England’s all-time record run-scorer, walked out to a guard of honour from the Indian team members after being presented with a commemorative cap by Strauss efore play started.
A video produced by the Professional Cricketers’ Association, featuring messages from many of the 74 players who have played with Cook , was shown to the batsman on Thursday.
“It’s incredibly humbling watching all those messages,” said Cook. “Not that I am wishing this week away but once it is out of the way and the dust has settled and life has moved on I think it will be a great watch, just to appreciate how many people I have played Test cricket with and how special everything has been.”
Cook came into the final Test having scored 12,254 Test runs at an average of 44.88 with 32 hundreds. He made 71 on the first day at The Oval.
Strauss told Sky Sports: “That average, that consistency, the number of times he’s passed fifty and obviously the hundreds and the match-winning hundreds he’s got, all combine to make him England’s greatest player ever in my opinion.”
Virat Kohli added: “We have seen too much of him sometimes. He has been a great player for England. What he has done as an opener has been outstanding and he will go down as one of the greatest openers to have played the game.”
Hello, the Sport360 team is in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.
Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the day but we want you to get involved too.
Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.
11:30pm – Sunil Gavaskar hits out at Indian team management for leaving out Karun Nair
India’s former batsman Sunil Gavaskar didn’t hold back after criticising the Indian team management for leaving out Karun Nair of their starting 11 for the final Test against England. Read more here.
8:30pm – Joe Root surprised by Alastair Cook’s retirement decision
The England captain admitted he was taken by surprise when Alastair Cook informed him that he will retire. Watch what he said here.
8:00pm – There’s no reason to panic for UAE after missing out on Asia Cup qualification
Following their loss to Hong Kong in the Asia Cup Qualifier final on Thursday, there’s still plenty of positives to take for the UAE. Read more here.
7:15pm – Grant Bradburn joins Pakistan as fielding coach
Pakistan have found themselves a new fielding coach with Grant Bradburn leaving his post as Scotland head coach to join Mickey Arthur’s team. Read more on this story here.
6:45pm – Ricky Ponting set to miss Pakistan series in UAE after suffering injury during commercial shoot
The former Australian captain is doubt to take up his T20 coaching role with the national team for the Pakistan series after sustaining an achilles injury while kicking a ball during a commercial shoot. Read more on this story here.
6:30pm – AB de Villiers set to play in PSL
The South African star confirmed he will feature in the Pakistan Super League. He will play in the fourth edition following his international retirement, which will be held in February and March 2019. Read more on that story here.
4.15pm – Alastair Cook nears 50 in his farewell Test against India at The Oval
England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in the fifth and final Test against India at The Oval on Friday, and by lunch the hosts had reached 68 for one with Alastair Cook, in his 161st and final Test appearance before his international retirement, not out on 37.
The only batsman to fall was Keaton Jennings who fought hard for 23 off 75 balls before turning Ravindra Jadeja in to the hands of KL Rahul at leg slip.
Follow the LIVE SCORES HERE.
1.45pm – England win toss and bat against India in fifth Test at The Oval
England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in the fifth and final Test against India at The Oval on Friday.
That meant Alastair Cook, in what was the opening batsman’s 161st and final Test appearance before his international retirement, would be straight into the action.
Former England captain Cook, England’s record Test run-scorer, was presented with a commemorative cap by Andrew Strauss, his predecessor as Test skipper, before play started.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves and Strauss, his former opening partner oversaw the presentation ceremony.
ECB director Strauss addressed the England team before handing Cook a cap numbered 161 to mark the final international match of the 33-year-old Essex left-hander’s 12-year international career.
England had announced on Thursday they would be unchanged in personnel from the side that won by 60 runs at Southampton on Monday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in this five-match series.
But they had also confirmed that Jonny Bairstow would resume as wicket-keeper for this match after breaking a finger behind the stumps during the third Test at Trent Bridge.
India, the world’s top-ranked Test side, made two changes, with Ravindra Jadeja replacing unfit fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari given a Test debut after the tourists dropped all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
10:30am – Alastair Cook hopes time heals rift with former England team-mate Kevin Pietersen
Cook, about to call time on his own record-breaking career after his 161st Test at the Oval this week, admits the breakdown of relations between Pietersen and England went on to have a detrimental effect on his own batting.
Cook was captain in 2014 when Pietersen was sacked after a miserably unsuccessful and acrimonious Ashes winter.