Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane shared what was comfortably India's highest stand of the series before the tourists closed on 307-6 having been asked to bat first on day one of the third Test at Trent Bridge.
The visiting captain fell just three runs shy of a second hundred of this tour, while Rahane - backed by head coach Ravi Shastri in the lead-up to the game - made a classy 81 as the pair enjoyed a 159-run union to put the home side under pressure.
Kohli and Rahane's partnership came at a crucial time, India having lost three quick wickets - all to Chris Woakes - to decline from 60-0 to 82-3 at lunch.
Following a wicket-less middle session, England did remove both dangermen after tea and James Anderson's dismissal of Hardik Pandya (18) with what proved to be the final ball of the day ensured Joe Root's men walked from the field with more of a spring in their step as they look to secure a series-clinching win.
An enthralling first day at Trent Bridge comes to a close with India 307/6. James Anderson dismissed Hardik Pandya with the final ball of the day to take his 100th wicket against India. #ENGvIND— ICC (@ICC) August 18, 2018
FULL SCORECARD https://t.co/3x88SzxNtJ pic.twitter.com/f7y0te1zd5
Having been put in, India's openers could have been forgiven for expecting a rough ride against the new ball under cloudy skies, but KL Rahul and the recalled Shikhar Dhawan acquitted themselves admirably.
That stand ended as Dhawan fell for 35 in edging to second slip and Woakes struck again in his next over, following up five away swingers with one that jagged back and trapped Rahul in front for 23.
India lost a review in challenging that call and England did likewise in trying to remove Kohli, who saw Cheteshwar Pujara (14) depart needlessly in the final over of the session, hooking Woakes to deep fine-leg where Adil Rashid took the catch.
Under clearing skies, batting appeared simpler after lunch as Rahane and Kohli scored at a healthy rate - the skipper first to fifty with a single through point, his partner's brought up in greater style as he crunched Woakes through the off side for a boundary.
Shortly after tea, Rahane - on 57 - was put down by Anderson, who could not hold on to a tough one-handed chance at point off Woakes.
There was to be no century for Rahane, however, as Stuart Broad induced an edge and Alastair Cook pulled off a sensational reaction grab to his left after expecting Jonny Bairstow to gobble up the chance.
Nor was there a hundred for Kohli, who remonstrated furiously with himself after driving loosely at Rashid and edging to Ben Stokes - back in the team after being cleared of affray.
If Test debutant Rishabh Pant was feeling nervous he showed little sign, thumping Rashid over his head for six from just his second ball.
Keaton Jennings' poor drop of Pandya off Broad was not heavily punished as Jos Buttler proved a safer pair of hands right at the end to give Anderson his 100th wicket against India.
|Sri Lanka sense historic win after dramatic day two|
|Lacazette banned for both Europa League last-16 legs|
|Vidic: I wouldn´t take Van Dijk over United´s defenders|
|Widnes Vikings face uncertain future after going into administration|
|Valverde confident Barcelona´s dry spell is a blip|
|Manchester derby: United v City at Old Trafford set for April 24|
|Sane the best in the world out wide, says Manchester City boss Guardiola|
|Cronin handed rare start, Italy make five changes|
|Inter director Zanetti hopes for swift Icardi return|
|BCCI urges cricket community to ´sever ties´ with terrorism-emanating countries|
|Reus and Piszczek still out for Borussia Dortmund|
|I wish it wasn´t 6-0 - Guardiola fears fuelling Chelsea fire|
|Tuchel hopeful of new Alves deal at PSG|
|Klopp ponders PSG´s Manchester United blueprint|
|AEK Athens handed suspended European competition ban|
|Toronto Wolfpack ´will pay whatever it takes´ to sign Sonny Bill Williams|
|Welcome to the club! Chelsea earn sympathy from non-league Gateshead|
|Hazard, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain and Sarri - how does Chelsea´s transfer ban affect them?|
|Europa League last-16 draw: Chelsea face Kiev trip, Arsenal meet Rennes|
|No doubt Solskjaer will get United job - Klopp|
|Gatland: Time-bomb Sinckler could go off in Cardiff|
|Central Coast Mariners 3 Brisbane Roar 5: Lopez inspires win in eight-goal thriller|
|Chelsea to appeal transfer ban|
|Harden: Rude and arrogant Foster should never officiate Rockets|
|Jones won´t dissuade Tuilagi from joining Racing|
|Solskjaer: United must keep emotions in check against Liverpool|
|United must adapt if Pogba is man-marked - Solskjaer|
|Highlanders deny Reds in Dunedin thriller|
|Chelsea hit with two-window transfer ban|
|Salah: Klopp has made life easier for Liverpool´s forwards|
|Solskjaer hoping to have Martial and Lingard fit for Liverpool clash|
|Vinicius was in my plans at Madrid, insists Lopetegui|
|Manchester United v Liverpool: Pogba and Salah lead combined XI|
|Pogba can become world´s best player – Vidic|
|Manchester United v Liverpool: When the Reds last visited while in the top two...23 years ago|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at the third round of Six Nations matches|
|McIlroy feels win isn´t far away|
|Who is Luka Jovic? The Bundesliga goal machine linked with Barcelona|
|Antetokounmpo´s Bucks edge Celtics to extend lead in Eastern Conference|
|Durant blocks Kings rookie Bagley five times in one half|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Atlanta beaten in De Boer´s first competitive game|
|Kucherov notches second straight 100-point NHL season|
|Del Potro into Delray Beach quarters, Kyrgios exits|
|Sarri: Chelsea´s season better than Arsenal´s|
|Padres confirm Machado´s 10-year, $300m deal|
|Williamson diagnosed with grade one knee sprain|
|Vidic: Solskjaer a better fit than big-name managers for United|
|Giroud issues EFL Cup warning after Chelsea´s Europa League win|
|McIlroy leads in Mexico, Woods shoots 71|
|Romero edges into lead in Puerto Rico|
|City out to make history against Chelsea - Silva|
|We were sweet enemies - Mourinho salutes old rival Wenger|
|Inter improvement not down to Icardi absence - Spalletti|
|This Week in US Sports: Manny Machado finds a home, Williamson gets hurt|
|Sarri rubbishes Roma rumour|
|Halep takes positives despite Dubai defeat|
|Reigning champion Van Uytvanck progresses in Budapest|
|Brough stars for Wakefield on milestone outing|
|Serbia progress in the balance with one game to go|
|DeMarcus Cousins blasts college basketball after Zion Williamson injury|
|UEFA explains ´technical issue´ behind Schalke-City VAR delays|
|Coric, Verdasco humbled in Open 13|
|Inter 4 Rapid Vienna 0 (5-0 agg): Nerazzurri cruise into Europa League last 16|
|Chelsea 3 Malmo 0 (5-1 agg): Sarri´s side stroll into last 16|
|Halep out, Kvitova dominant in Dubai|
|Marotta ´very optimistic´ Godin will join Inter|
|Emery praises Arsenal´s game management after European progress|
|Valencia 1 Celtic 0 (3-0 agg): Toljan sent off as Bhoys crash out|
|Arsenal 3 BATE 0 (3-1 agg): Emery´s men ease through|