Stuart Broad took six wickets as India were bowled out for just 152 on the first day of the fourth Test against England at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday.
Stuart Broad holds the ball as he leaves the field after taking six wickets during the first day of the fourth Test match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester. (Reuters Photo)
However, India's final total - built on a defiant 71 from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who opted to bat first after winning the toss in overcast conditions - represented a considerable recovery after they had been eight for four.
It was the worst start to the first innings of a Test since England were two for four against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1999 when Duncan Fletcher, now in charge of India, was their coach.
At stumps, England were 113 for three, 39 runs behind.
Ian Bell was 45 not out and nightwatchman Chris Jordan unbeaten on nought after Gary Ballance (37) fell late in the day.
Broad, showing no sign of his persistent right knee injury, took six for 25 in 13.4 overs, including a post-lunch burst of four for six in 21 balls.
Meanwhile, Broad's new-ball partner James Anderson had figures of three for 46 in 14 overs on his Lancashire home ground.
Anderson, although the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Wednesday that they would not take further action against him after he had been cleared of abusing and pushing India's Ravindra Jadeja during the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge, came into this match under a cloud for his persistent 'sledging'.
But few India batsmen, Dhoni apart, lingered long enough at the crease for it to become an issue on Thursday.
MS Dhoni (2nd R) runs between the wickets as James Anderson (2nd L) appeals to the umpire during the first day of the fourth Test match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester. (AFP Photo)
India in fact equalled the record of six ducks in a Test innings, with three of their top four out for nought.
Apart from Dhoni, the only other India batsmen to make it into double figures were Ravichandran Ashwin (40) and Ajinkya Rahane (24).
All of India's first four wickets fell with their score on eight, a quartet of batsmen dismissed in the space of 13 balls.
Gautam Gambhir, recalled in place of the dropped Shikhar Dhawan in one of three changes to the India side that lost the third Test in Southampton by 266 runs, was first out when he nicked Broad to Joe Root in the gully.
Anderson, man-of-the-match in Southampton as England levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with their first win in 11 Tests, initially struggled to control the lavish swing on offer.
But he got his line and length right in the fifth over.
He took two wickets for no runs in three balls as both opener Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli fell for ducks after edging to England captain Alastair Cook at first slip.
Cheteshwar Pujara also exited for nought, well caught in the slips by Jordan off Broad.
India were now eight for four inside six overs.
Rahane and Dhoni repaired some of the early damage during a fifth-wicket of 54 before Rahane edged Jordan to Bell at second slip.
At lunch, India were 63 for five with Dhoni 25 not out and Jadeja yet to score.
Jadeja in fact never got off the mark, falling lbw to an Anderson inswinger shortly after lunch to the audible delight of an Old Trafford still angered by his role in the Trent Bridge fracas with their local hero.
Ashwin, albeit dropped on 25, offered excellent support to Dhoni in a seventh-wicket partnership of 66 where he scored at nearly a run-a-ball before he was caught in the deep off Broad.
Dhoni was eventually out when he hoisted a Broad ball from outside off stump straight to Jordan at deep backward square leg.
And when Broad bowled last man Pankaj Singh for nought, India were all out inside 47 overs.
Australia-born England opener Sam Robson, as if conscious he had been repeatedly caught in the slips, was bowled middle stump leaving a Bhuvneshwar Kumar inswinger.
Then Cook, fresh from his two fifties in Southampton, hooked the recalled Varun Aaron straight to Pankaj Singh at long leg.
Ballance and Bell, who both made hundreds at Southampton, added 77 before the former was lbw to Aaron.
Varun Aaron (C) celebrates after taking the wicket of Gary Ballance (L) on the first day of the fourth Test match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester. (AP Photo)
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, James Anderson
India: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Pankaj Singh
Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS) and Marais Erasmus (RSA)
TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
Commentary, England 1st Innings