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.
|Nuno fined over pitch celebration in Leicester win|
|Nadal unfazed by another Next Gen opponent in Tsitsipas|
|Ulster hand lifetime ban to spectator after Zebo abuse|
|Phehlukwayo´s career-best day inspires Proteas against Pakistan|
|Bournemouth pounce for Brentford´s Mepham|
|You say all signings are controversial – Valverde defends Boateng arrival|
|Search for missing Sala plane suspended|
|Kohli and Williamson display mutual respect as India and Black Caps prepare for battle|
|Qatar 1 Iraq 0: Al Rawi free-kick books quarter-final spot|
|Ba joins Adebayor and Robinho at Istanbul Basaksehir|
|BREAKING NEWS: Tottenham´s Alli out until March with hamstring injury|
|Fit-again Joseph added to England squad|
|It is very, very serious for us - Tuchel wants midfielder in January window|
|Lakers expect Rajon Rondo back Thursday as LeBron James continues rehab|
|Atletico Madrid boosted as Koke thigh injury revealed to be minor|
|South Korea 2 Bahrain 1 (after extra time): Kim Jin-su seals quarter-final spot|
|AC Milan confirm Zapata thigh injury|
|I miss him a lot - Guardiola confirms ´clever´ Mendy back in Man City squad|
|Tiafoe wants LeBron meeting after run to Australian Open quarters|
|Cardiff continue to ´pray´ for Sala|
|West Ham fined over Burnley clash chaos|
|Knicks star Enes Kanter frustrated by reduced role|
|Kvitova getting back to her best, says Barty|
|Kvitova revels in first semi of ´second career´|
|Messi´s the best player in every world – Boateng dismisses past Real Madrid comments|
|Thunder frustrations continue against Renegades|
|Alonso vows to clear name in tax fraud case|
|Classy Nadal downs Tiafoe to set up Tsitsipas semi|
|Hoedt leaves Southampton for Celta Vigo on loan|
|Melbourne City 4 Western Sydney Wanderers 3: Hosts edge thriller with two goals in last six minutes|
|Wilder won´t even pick up the phone - Hearn not hopeful of AJ bout|
|Sala was on board missing plane, say French authorities|
|Arsenal´s Bellerin out for season with ACL rupture|
|Gatland waiting on ´concrete´ offers|
|Ronaldo accepts prison sentence and €18.8m fine for tax fraud|
|Tsitsipas: It was vital to back up Federer win|
|Awesome Kvitova ends Barty´s home run in Melbourne|
|CA rejects Thunder appeal for full points in abandoned Heat clash|
|Emiliano Sala: Concerns grow for Cardiff striker after plane goes missing|
|Harden unimpressed with refs in Rockets´ 76ers disappointment|
|Ronaldo arrives for sentencing in tax fraud case|
|Record-breaking evening ´one of those nights´ for Warriors star Thompson|
|Hazard still interested in Real Madrid but won´t rule out Chelsea stay|
|Collins moves past Pavlyuchenkova, into Australian Open semis|
|Kohli makes history with ICC awards sweep|
|Thompson sets NBA record with 10 straight made three-pointers to open game|
|76ers hand Rockets largest loss of season, Harden scores 37 points|
|Tsitsipas overcomes Bautista Agut to continue Aus Open run|
|Barcelona move a ´dream come true´ for Boateng|
|Rams coach McVay on Gurley: I´ve got to get him more opportunities|
|Butler´s sprained wrist not expected to keep him out ´long term´|
|Saints owner Benson will ´aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies´|
|Levante to take Copa case to CAS|
|It can happen – Allegri plays down Ronaldo penalty miss|
|Mavericks´ Doncic becomes second-youngest player to record triple-double|
|Yankees send Sonny Gray to Reds|
|Ashley Cole reunited with Frank Lampard at Derby County|
|Arnold ready to mix things up in 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals|
|Arum: Joshua desperately needs to fight in the United States|
|South Korea v Bahrain: Bento optimistic of continuing unblemished campaign|
|Bolton Wanderers 0 West Brom 2: Baggies bounce up to third after tennis ball protest|
|Confident Moeen ready to shine for England in the Caribbean|
|Juventus 3 Chievo 0: Allegri´s men cruise despite Ronaldo penalty save|
|Boateng completes shock Barcelona switch|
|United Arab Emirates 3 Kyrgyzstan 2 (after extra time): Khalil penalty sets up Socceroos showdown|
|West Indies add Drakes to new-look coaching team|
|Barcelona is a huge opportunity – Boateng confirms shock move is close|
|Donnarumma wishes Higuain luck ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Qatar v Iraq: Katanec anticipating ´huge challenge´ in last 16|
|Nuno hit with FA misconduct charge for pitch celebration|