Chris Woakes made an instant impact on his return as England bowled India out for 191, only for Joe Root to fall late on as the visitors fought back on a frantic day one of the fourth Test.
England levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with a resounding innings victory at Headingley last weekend after bowling their opponents out for only 78 on the first day.
India struggled with the bat again after being put in by Root at The Oval on Thursday, captain Virat Kohli falling for 50 as they collapsed to 127-7.
The recalled Shardul Thakur (57) blasted the fastest Test half-century ever made in England, reaching the landmark off just 31 balls, before India were all out in the 62nd over after the final three wickets fell for one run.
Jasprit Bumrah (2-15) dismissed Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed to reduce England to 6-2 in a brilliant opening spell and Umesh Yadav struck a huge blow by bowling the in-form Root (21).
England reached 53-3 at stumps - trailing by 138 - with Dawid Malan unbeaten on 26 and nightwatchman Craig Overton (one not out) ensuring no further damage was done.
Woakes took 4-55 in his first Test for just over a year, including seeing the back of Rohit Sharma with a peach of a delivery in his first over.
He also dismissed Ravindra Jadeja, promoted to number five in the order, and was gifted a further wicket when Rishabh Pant was caught at mid-off trying to hit over the top. Thakur was his final victim, though not before playing a potentially crucial cameo.
Kohli showed his class with some glorious drives before he edged a great delivery from Ollie Robinson (3-38) through to Jonny Bairstow, who took four catches on his return to wicketkeeping duties with Jos Buttler absent.
James Anderson and Overton also took a wicket apiece in another relentless performance from the England attack.
Bumrah was run out by Burns without facing a ball in a chaotic end to the India innings, but Kohli's men hit back impressively in the final session.
WOAKES MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME
Woakes had not played for his country in the longest format since last August and he made up for lost time having recovered from a heel injury.
Pant's latest rush of blood to the head gifted Woakes a third wicket and although he took some treatment from Thakur, the seamer had the last laugh when he ended his entertaining knock thanks to a well-judged review.
THAKUR TAKES HIS CHANCE
Thakur - recalled along with Umesh as Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma missed out - was another to make his mark, producing a swashbuckling knock after striding to the crease with his team in big trouble.
He was dismissed without scoring in the first match at Test Bridge but went on the attack to give India some hope as he dominated a much-needed eighth-wicket stand of 63 in just eight overs, hitting three sixes and seven fours in a dramatic hour at the crease, during which he faced only 36 balls.