In what was their best batting performance in the ongoing Test series, Indian batsmen finally turned up with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scoring 97 and 81 runs respectively on Day one of the third Test here on Saturday.
It was here in Nottingham that South Africa thumped England past year to burst the bubble of optimism hanging over Joe Root's new Test reign and now they have been utterly outplayed by India in conditions they should relish.
It took the introduction of Woakes, man of the match at Lord's, to improve England's morning.
However, English all-rounder Chris Woakes spoiled India's start by taking three wickets to leave them reeling at 82/3 at lunch on Day 1.
Woakes looked the potential game-changer again, having Dhawan caught at slip for 35, trapping Rahul lbw for 23 and tempting Cheteshwar Pujara (14) into a hook on the stroke of lunch which went straight into the hands of Rashid on the boundary. It was obvious: if England had another good day in the field, the series could be all but settled by stumps.
Captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have come under fire as there have been some questionable selection calls and assessment of the conditions at both Edgbaston and Lord's. But the 20-year-old quickly settled down, and would finish with five dismissals on the day.
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Chris Woakes took all those wickets en route to figures of three for 75 in 20 overs. After joining his captain at the crease, Rahane first got into the damage-control mode and then took charge of Indian innings.
Dhawan provided much-needed positivity at the top of the order and, after Kohli and Rahane dominated the middle of the day, Pant hit his second ball in Test cricket, delivered by leg-spinner Adil Rashid, for six.
This was a triumph, too, for a young keeper-batsman of huge promise in Rishabh Pant who followed his audacious debut innings featuring a six off his second ball by taking five catches in his weaker suit with the gloves. Rishabh is the 291st Test player, 36th wicket-keeper batsman, 2nd left-handed wicket-keeper batsman and 5th youngest keeper to represent India.
# WICKET! Pant sent off by Broad's delivery.
India again lost the toss for the third time and were asked to bat first by England.
Kohli averaged 60 in the first two Tests, yet not one of his team-mates managed to post a single score in excess of 33.