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.
|Dolphins say Hayes tore ACL attempting to avoid roughing-the-passer penalty|
|Modric deserved FIFA Best award – Ramos|
|Thibodeau open to potential Butler trade|
|Modric wanted Ronaldo, Messi at awards ceremony|
|Brewers´ Yelich active after elbow hit|
|Anthony on coming off Rockets´ bench: Whatever I have to do to help this team win|
|Raiders coach Gruden says Mack trade was hard on players|
|Bale lauds ´unbelievable´ Modric after FIFA Best triumph|
|Ronaldo, Messi lacked respect with FIFA Best awards snub - Capello|
|New Zealand the benchmark but England can win World Cup - Mitchell|
|FIFA Best Award a dream come true for Modric|
|Lakers a long way from Warriors, warns LeBron|
|Milner pokes fun at Salah´s Puskas Award win|
|Josh Rosen to replace Sam Bradford as Cardinals starting quarterback|
|Kaymer: Home-course advantage crucial to Europe hopes|
|Marta and Pedros win FIFA Best awards|
|I want to be in Toronto - Kawhi Leonard focused on Raptors, not future|
|Messi and Ronaldo lead FIFPro World XI as Salah and Neymar miss out|
|Knicks´ Kristaps Porzingis ´itchy´ to return but won´t commit to 2018-19 season|
|Modric beats Ronaldo and Salah to FIFA Best prize|
|49ers confirm ACL tear for QB Garoppolo|
|Salah beats Bale and Ronaldo to Puskas Award|
|Deschamps wins FIFA Best Men´s Coach award|
|Law to leave Windies for Middlesex role|
|Sunderland terminate Ndong´s contract|
|Spalletti warns rejuvenated Inter against complacency|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Figo in town as USA arrive in style|
|Browns name Baker Mayfield starting QB|
|Chelsea need to be more versatile, warns Giroud|
|Paris Saint-Germain FFP case referred by UEFA back to CFCB Investigatory Chamber|
|Busy Bertens ready for bed, Muguruza gains Wimbledon revenge|
|Hart ready if England come calling - Dyche|
|Ryder Cup 2018: An honour and a burden - the unique challenge of captaincy|
|Hibino beats Bouchard again at the Tashkent Open|
|Falcons lose Ricardo Allen for season|
|Mbappe three-match ban stands following appeal|
|Tomic wins first Tour-level match since Wimbledon in Chengdu|
|Ryder Cup diary: Scoreboard shocker, captains tight-lipped|
|Mourinho will spawn lots of managers - Lampard|
|Furyk outlines Woods´ Ryder Cup motivation|
|Tiger doesn´t scare Team Europe - Bjorn|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team USA profile|
|Woods winning ´incredibly special for golf´, says Poulter|
|Grealish commits to Aston Villa with five-year deal|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Team USA will win|
|Herrera ready for return - Mourinho|
|Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Usyk|
|Lewandowski and Boateng´s professionalism impresses Kovac|
|WATCH: Sheepish Murray comically drops commemorative plate in China|
|Cech: Arsenal have forgotten how to win Premier League titles|
|Lemar must adapt to Atleti style, says Simeone|
|Toulon to appeal suspended points penalty|
|AFE rejects Miami plan for Girona-Barca|
|Messi and Ronaldo to decide world´s best young player|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Talisman Poulter key to European hopes|
|Pogba hits out at critics who ´create drama´|
|Barcelona to appeal Lenglet red card|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team Europe profile|
|Patriots´ Gronkowski threatened to retire if traded to Lions|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Europe will win|
|Tigres and Monterrey condemn violence that leaves fan in intensive care|
|Williams baffled by coach´s claim he sent her US Open final signals|
|Ryder Cup 2018: A sporting spectacular you cannot afford to miss|
|Cricket Australia closes investigation into Moeen claim|
|Zlatan impressed by ´MVP´ singer|
|Modric hoping to complete FIFA and UEFA double at Best Awards|
|Mickelson never doubted Woods would win again|
|Woods looked like Tiger of old in 80th PGA Tour win|
|Chelsea were too slow against West Ham - David Luiz|
|Tottenham star Kane acknowledges sub-par start|