Australia were dismissed for just 136 by England after winning the toss on the first day of the third Ashes test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
James Anderson took six for 47 in 14.4 overs, including a spell of four for seven in 10 balls after lunch, having gone wicketless with match figures of none for 137 in Australia's crushing 405-run win in the second test at Lord's.
Meanwhile fast bowler Steven Finn had figures of two for 38 in 10 overs, his first test in two years, after Durham quick Mark Wood was omitted because of ankle problems.
Stuart Broad, the only other bowler used in an innings that ended inside 37 overs, took two for 44.
But the lively seaming pitch and overcast conditions which aided England's attack were still factors as the hosts began their reply.
Australia were indebted to opener Chris Rogers's 52, with their next best score Adam Voges's 16.
This was Rogers's ninth fifty in 11 Test innings and came after he was cleared to play following a balance problem in the inner ear caused by being hit on the helmet by an Anderson bouncer during the course of his Test-best 173 at Lord's.
The five-match series is level at 1-1 after England won the first Test in Cardiff by 169 runs.