Electing to bat after winning the toss, England lost opener Haseeb Hameed (9) before skipper Alastair Cook (27) and Joe Root (15) took them past the 50-run mark.
But the hosts quickly turned it around with three quick wickets of Cook, Root and Moeen Ali (16) just before the lunch break to put the visitors on the backfoot.
Stumper Jonny Bairstow (20) and Ben Stokes (5) were at the crease when the umpires called for lunch.
Teenaged opener Hameed, who survived 31 balls, was the first casualty for the English side when a short of a good length delivery from pacer Umesh Yadav hit his gloves to give an easy catch to Ajinkya Rahane at gully.
Root then joined Cook in the middle but failed to impress before succumbing leg before to off-spinner Jayant Yadav as the visitors were reduced to 51/2.
Cook, meanwhile failed to capitalise on the two dropped chances -- dropped on 4 by Ravindra Jadeja and then on 23 by Ravichandran Ashwin -- both off pacer Mohammed Shami.
His 42-ball vigil at the crease was cut short by a short and wide delivery from Ashwin, which resulted in a thin edge for stumper Parthiv Patel. Cook batted fluently for his 27, which was laced with six hits to the fence.
Tottering at 51/3, India skipper Virat Kohli immediately brought back Shami into the attack which the Bengal pacer responded beautifully by packing left-hander Moeen Ali.
Back for his second spell, Shami induced Ali with a short delivery, which resulted in a top edge only to be caught at fine leg by Murali Vijay.
Ali looked confident in the middle hitting Jayant Yadav for a consecutive four and a six during his 45-ball stay. Thereafter, Bairstow and Stokes survived a few anxious moments to take England to 92/4 when the umpires signalled for the lunch break.
For India, all the bowlers -- Umesh, Shami, Jayant and Ashwin managed to take a wicket each while left-arm spinner Ravindra jadeja was yet to be introduced into the attack in the morning session.