England seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad wreaked havoc with the new ball on the first morning of the fourth Investec Test, with India limping to lunch at 63 for five.
Touring captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni chose to bat, despite a half-hour rain delay leaving leaden skies hanging over the ground, and within six overs Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli had all come and gone - the final three without scoring.
England, who levelled the series at 1-1 last week, were suitably irresistible in reducing India to eight for four, Broad finding pace and carry on a helpful track and Anderson weaving spells with his mastery of the swinging ball.
Dhoni, having watched his gamble backfire spectacularly in the first half-hour, did his part to repair some of the damage in a stand of 54 with Ajinkya Rahane before Chris Jordan had the latter held at second slip just before the interval.
Gambhir, one of three recalls to the India side in place of Shikhar Dhawan, was first to fall, squared up by Broad and caught at gully off the shoulder of the bat.
Pujara almost followed four balls later, Broad nipping one off the pitch and somehow missing middle stump as he cut through a ragged defence.
Anderson, having escaped the threat of a ban from his home Test following his altercation with Ravindra Jadeja, then bowled a memorable double-wicket maiden.
Vijay and Kohli were victims of the same two-card trick, a full inswinger to line them up and a perfectly pitched outswinger to follow.
Both obliged with the nick and captain Alastair Cook snaffled two catches at waist height.
In doing so, the Anderson-Cook catching combination overtook Ian Botham-Bob Willis as England's most productive outfield pairing in Tests.
India were shell-shocked but worse was to come as they lost a fourth wicket without adding to the total, Pujara's hard hands steering Broad to the waiting Jordan at third slip.
England had taken four scalps in 13 balls and were eyeing a rout.
With a shade more luck, they might have had one as both Dhoni and Rahane played and missed on several occasions to the pumped-up pair of Anderson and Broad.
When Chris Woakes entered the fray Dhoni aimed a huge waft at his third delivery, sending a thick edge inches above the slip cordon.
But gradually the pressure eased, Dhoni picking up a handful of boundaries as he took on some attacking fields and Rahane offering support.
Woakes and Jordan struggled to keep the pressure up in their initial spells, but the Sussex man got it right shortly before lunch when he tempted Rahane to play away from his body in the penultimate over before the break.
Ian Bell gathered a simple chance, leaving Jadeja to endure a pantomime villain's welcome as he came to the middle.