England fast bowler James Anderson claimed three wickets as India reached 273-7 at stumps on day one of the third Test at Eden Gardens.
The game's all-time leading Test scorer Sachin Tendulkar top scored for the hosts with 76 while opener Gautam Gambhir also contributed a useful 60.
India, having won the toss, had made an encouraging start in Kolkata - with Gambhir and Virender Sehwag looking largely untroubled early on.
However, a mix-up between the two openers gifted England their opening wicket with the score on 47.
Gambhir was guilty of ball-watching as his partner pushed for a third run - with the throw from Steven Finn, in for Stuart Broad, leaving Sehwag (23) in no-man's land.
The pitch lacked the same pace and bounce that helped England clinch a 10-wicket win at the Wankhede Stadium in the second Test.
However, Monty Panesar (2-74) showed he has a few more tricks in his locker as he deceived the dangerous Cheteshwar Pujara with a straight delivery to bowl the No 3 for 16.
Panesar struck again after lunch removing Gambhir on 60 - another Test innings without a ton for the left-hander - Jonathan Trott taking a smart catch at slip.
Virat Kohli made six runs before he was caught at second slip off the bowling of James Anderson, leaving India on 136-4 with Yuvraj Singh joining Tendulkar in the middle.
Yuvraj (32) looked dangerous, swatting four fours and six from his 54 deliveries before he was caught by Cook from Graeme Swann's bowling after tea. His partnership with Tendulkar was 79, eclipsing the previous best of 47 scored between Gambhir and Sehwag.
Just when it seemed Tendulkar might be on his way to a 52nd Test hundred a lapse in concentration saw him caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior from the bowling of Anderson.
England squandered an excellent chance to run out Ravichandran Ashwin when captain MS Dhoni set off on an ambitious run only for Finn to miss the ball at mid-on with Ashwin stranded at the non-striker's end.
Dhoni and Ashwin were close to seeing out the final 15 overs of play without loss before Anderson collected his third wicket of the day by knocking back Ashwin's (21) middle stump.
Zaheer Kahn (0 not out) survived the final three balls of the Anderson over under the fading light, while Dhoni was unbeaten on 22.