Alastair Cook made a half-century on debut but still admitted to a tinge of disappointment after England had mustered only a below-par 246 for seven on day one of the Test series against India.
Cook's 60 at the top of the order was augmented by Paul Collingwood (53no), who passed 50 for the third successive time in Test innings.
But England must be well aware they did not make the most of winning an important toss in Nagpur - and it was a bonus for India that, in a series most expect to be dominated by spin, their two seamers shared five England wickets.
Cook, summoned by injury-ravaged England only last weekend from the A tour of the Caribbean to open for his country for the first time, adapted impressively in tough circumstances.
"It was a great experience to play against India on their own ground, with their fans cheering all the time," the 21-year-old Essex left-hander told Sky Sports.
"They are a bit mad - every time the ball beats the bat they start. You just try to ignore it. I enjoyed the experience."
Cook's toughest task was to keep out India's feared spin pairing of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh - and he managed just that, only to fall to an inswinger from left-arm pace bowler Irfan Pathan.
"I was just trying to stay in. You just have to try to survive against those great spinners - and it was just a bit disappointing to get out on 60," he said.
"It was a bit of a poor shot."
England know they face a tough task to make up for a moderate first day under new stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff.
"We are a little bit disappointed being seven down on a flat wicket and knowing we have probably had the best use of it," Cook conceded.
"But if we can tie them down and be patient when we bowl we are still in with a chance."
Kumble, meanwhile, reflected with satisfaction on a heartening start to the three-Test series for the hosts.
The wrist-spinner took just one wicket - as did Harbhajan - and he said: "I thought Cook and Collingwood batted very well.
"The fast bowlers bowled really well. They got us those early wickets. I thought getting six or seven wickets on this pitch was very satisfying.
"It is one of those wickets where, if you get in, it is a good one to bat on.
"It's a bit slow, so you have to bowl in the right areas - and we did that today."