James Anderson led from the front as England bowled India out for 396 on the second morning in Visakhapatnam.
Anderson, 41 years old and with 22 years of international cricket on the clock, charged in for eight overs in the mid-morning heat in a metronomic spell worth two for 17.
He dismissed old adversary Ravichandran Ashwin and the dashing Yashavi Jaiswal, who finished with an outstanding 209, as England picked up their last four wickets for 60 runs.
There is plenty of cricket still to play but in keeping India below the 400 mark in what should be the best batting conditions of the match, England performed admirably. They then made a typically bright start to their reply, Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett rushing to 32 without loss in six overs before tea.
With the hosts resuming on 336 for six, England captain Ben Stokes chose to lean on his most and least experienced players, pairing Anderson with newcomer Shoaib Bashir and leaving them unchanged for 75 minutes.
Anderson, taking the new ball, used all of his subtle skills in an excellent spell and set the tone with a pair of breakthroughs. An early lbw shout against Jaiswal was close but not close enough and it was Ravichandran Ashwin, who had annoyed Anderson by moving around at the non-striker’s end, who was first to fall courtesy of a thin edge behind.
Jaiswal took just 20 balls to convert his overnight score of 179 into an outstanding double ton, sweeping Bashir for six and four in successive deliveries before standing arms outstretched in a manner that called to mind Jude Bellingham’s favourite celebration.
His work finally done, Anderson retreated for a well deserved rest with figures of three for 45 in 25 overs.
The next generation did the rest, Rehan Ahmed (three for 65) getting Jasprit Bumrah caught at slip and Bashir (three for 138) made short work of fellow debutant Mukesh Kumar.
That left a tricky window for the England openers but they made light of the challenge, sharing six boundaries to begin the job of building their side’s response.