India mounted a solid early response to England's imposing first-innings total as the hosts closed day two 63 without loss in Rajkot, trailing by 474 runs.
With Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes joining Joe Root in bringing up centuries, England reached 537 all out to lay down a marker in the first Test on Thursday.
But India's reply started well as Murali Vijay (25 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (28 not out) made good progress in favourable conditions.
Having resumed on 311-4, England started at a brisk pace and clocked up seven boundaries in the first six overs.
That early flurry took Moeen to his maiden overseas century, but his fun was ended on 117 when he offered no shot to Mohammed Shami (2-65) and saw his off-stump taken out.
It did little to upset the tourists' momentum and a productive sixth-wicket stand between Jonny Bairstow (46) and Stokes contributed 99 runs before the former became Shami's second victim.
There was a brief England wobble after lunch as Chris Woakes (4) and Adil Rashid (5) went cheaply, though Stokes continued to frustrate India.
The powerful all-rounder took a particular liking to Amit Mishra and clubbed three maximums off his bowling, though he was almost caught on the third attempt, only for Vijay to tread on the rope.
Umesh Yadav finally accounted for the 25-year-old on 128 as he got him to nick one into Wriddhiman Saha's gloves.
Zafar Ansari played confidently to add further gloss, before Mishra got him lbw on 32 to conclude a fine innings for the visiting side, who received much criticism following their loss to Bangladesh in the second Test.
But hopes of retaining the upper hand suffered a dent over the final 23 overs of the day, with India gaining a strong foothold courtesy of a promising opening partnership.
Both Vijay and Gambhir patiently laid the platform for India to reel their opponents back in, as England's bowling unit toiled without reward.