England were blunted by the superiority of Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara again, but will consider the ascendancy marginally theirs after day one of the of the second Test.
Pujara, now thoroughly entrenched at three in the order after replacing the veteran Rahul Dravid earlier this year, climbed to an unbeaten 114 in a total of 266 for six at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Man of the Match for his 206 not out and 41 not out in the first Test, the talented Pujara grew his series tally, without dismissal, to 361 on Friday. The only batsman to stave off the advances of spinner Monty Panesar, the 24-year-old displayed maturity and insight beyond his limited experience.
Stepping to the crease a mere two deliveries into the day after opener Gautam Gambhir's early departure, Pujara stood firm despite the fall of five-fold slew of big fish around him.
The hard-hitting Virender Sehwag was unable to mark his 100th cap with a big score, the stalwart Sachin Tendulkar fell cheaply again, the impatient Virat Kohli became a victim of his own haste, the returning Yuvraj Singh endured a duck and captain Mahendra Dhoni could not convert a promising start.
Panesar cashed in throughout, finishing the day with figures of four for 91 in 34 tireless overs. Thoroughly justifying his selection ahead of seamer Tim Bresnan, the left-arm slow bowler castled Sehwag thanks to some slight spin, screamed through Tendulkar's defence with more sharp turn, had Kohli drive the additional flight straight to cover and forced Dhoni to fend to a solitary slip fielder.
Fellow spinner Graeme Swann, meanwhile, happily played second fiddle - and didn't waste the opportunity to snipe through Yuvraj's ambition off the frontfoot with an off-break that, really, simply kept straight.
169 for six and teetering on the precipice of collapse, India dug deep for a rescue - and a persistent Pujara and his trusty sidekick Ravichandran Ashwin were prompt to oblige across an unbroken 97-run stand.
With Swann and Panesar growing weary for their collective third of the day's 90 overs, the ineffective spin of Samit Patel was introduced, and the pressure relented. The use of the second new ball, too, didn't offer the frontline spinners further breakthrough.
Outfoxed, outgunned and outlasted in Ahmedabad, England will be buoyed by their responsive rhetoric, broken only by Pujara and Ashwin's resillience. India, however, won't be fazed, knowing full well their selection of three specialist spinners in conditions expected to turn prodigiously eventually soon serve them well.