Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow survived at the crease to take England 74/3 at lunch after Indian bowlers started well by picking three wickets.
After opting to bat first, England lost their first wicket in the sixth over only against the usual suspect - Axar Patel, who bowled Dom Sibley. In his next over, Patel removed uncomfortable-looking Zak Crawley to reduce England to 2/15.
Indian bowlers tested the defence of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow for a few overs before Mohammad Siraj got better of English skipper.
Bairstow and Ben Stokes started to counterattack the Indian bowlers in the last hour of the session to take the team total to 74.
England - 3/74 (Jonny Bairstow - 28*; Axar Patel - 2/21)