Graeme Swann pulled things back for England, as Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara sparkled for India with the hosts finishing day one on a solid 323 for four in the first day of the first Test in Ahmedabad.
Swann took all four of India's wickets as the hosts, batting first after winning the toss, went past 300, but were left to wonder what could have been, had the England off-spinner not put in an impressive day of bowling. The pitch was already assisting the spinners, leaving many to wonder what captain Alastair Cook was thinking, playing three fast bowlers, with the trio of Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan highly ineffective.
Sehwag was India's top scorer, smashing 117 from as many balls, with Pujara equally impressive, as India's new No.3 finished the day on 98 not out, with Yuvraj Singh giving him company on 24.
In the first session, it was all India, with Sehwag very much in his elements, picking the right deliveries on an extremely slow and dry pitch to score off. The Delhi Dasher had his good friend for company, with Gautam Gambhir happy to let Sehwag do all the scoring as he found his feet.
A couple of scares were there, particularly for Gambhir - his penchant for inside edging and nearly playing on not seeming like it is going away anytime soon.
Sehwag got into the mood in the seventh over, smashing James Anderson, who was the pick of the English fast bowlers, for three fours, with the opener not really looking back from there.
Gambhir (45 in 111) was more circumspect, the left-hander clearly having the criticism of the openers before the start of the innings on the back of his mind.
But the good thing about having Sehwag as your opening partner is, you do not have to worry about the scoreboard ticking over, because before you knew it, Sehwag had got to his 50, off just 45 balls with the score reading 82.
The next over, was typical Sehwag, almost it seemed in celebration of the half-century, the dashing right-hander laid into Tim Bresnan, who was pedestrian throughout, for 15 runs. India raced to their hundred in under 20 overs, as the Gambhir-Sehwag duo shared their first 100-partnership since 2010 in Centurion.
India went for lunch on 120 for no loss in 28 overs, as the English bowlers went into the dressing room wondering what it would take to break the partnership and get through the Indian batting lineup.
Second over after lunch, Swann got his first of four wickets, castling Gambhir, who tried to cut the ball off the stumps. If England thought they were in for a couple more, they were to be disappointed as Pujara walked out with a purpose, batting like he has been playing Test cricket for years. Pujara was the aggressor in the 90-run second wicket partnership with Sehwag, scoring 55 to his more experienced partner's 32.
Sehwag, as he always does, threw his wicket away, when he just needed to rotate the strike, going for a cross-batted shot through mid-wicket, but only ending up seeing his wickets disturbed off Swann's bowling.
Swann had his tail up now, and looked like he could pick up a wicket in any over, as the English bowlers slowly but surely bogged down the Indian batsmen - although the decision to leave out Monty Panesar and play with three seamers is already looking like a foolhardy one. Sachin Tendulkar (13 in 18) sensing the pressure increasing, looked to cut loose with an aggressive loft over mid-wicket, but only managed to find Samit Patel on the boundary line, as India's third wicket fell just before Tea, with the second session yielding 130 runs for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men at th cost of three wickets.
Virat Kohli came in and took 29 balls to get off the mark, as England kept the pressure. Pujara, on the other end though, was looking untroubled as the Saurashtra man kept on pushing the balls for singles and doubles, well on his way to a deserved hundred.
Kohli was the last man to go for the day, Swann picking up his fourth off an absolute beauty to end the batsman's painstaking 19 of 67 balls. The off-spinner drew Kohli out to the front foot, as the ball landed perfectly outside off stump and spun to sneak past the batsman's defense and see the timber disturbed.
Yuvraj Singh and Pujara hung on for the rest of the day as India ended up on 323 for four, but it could have been so much better, with England thanking their lucky stars they have got a bowler like Swann in their lineup.