England, electing to bat after winning the toss, lost left-handed openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook before reaching 54-2 at lunch on the opening day.
Ian Bell was on 14 at the break with Kevin Pietersen on four.
Strauss (18) fell to a poor shot, trying to cut a delivery outside the off stump. Wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni held a low catch to his left.
England suffered another setback in Pathan's next over when first Test hero Cook was trapped leg-before. Cook, who made 60 and 104 not out on debut in the drawn opening match at Nagpur, contributed 17 this time.
Skipper Andrew Flintoff, who became a father for the second time on Wednesday, won a second successive toss on a good batting pitch but his openers failed to provide a strong start.
Strauss and Cook began promisingly after the match had started 45 minutes late due to morning showers. They had been batting steadily and relying on singles and twos before falling in quick succession.
Left-arm seamer Pathan was rested after removing the England openers in his impressive eight-over spell.
India Thursday made three changes from the team that drew the first Test, bringing in middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and seamer Munaf Patel.
Chawla and Patel made their Test debuts.
Mohammad Kaif, who top-scored with 91 at Nagpur, was left out along with Venkatsai Laxman and unwell seamer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.
England replaced left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell with seamer Liam Plunkett for the only change from the side that played at Nagpur.