England, with fast bowlers Stephen Harmison (hernia), Andrew Flintoff (ankle) and Matthew Hoggard (back) all injured, gave a debut to 6' 7" Hampshire seamer Chris Tremlett, whose grandfather Maurice played Test cricket in the 1940s.
It seemed as if Leicestershire fast bowler Stuart Broad, the son of former England opening batsman Chris, had been set for a Test debut. But it appeared Hoggard's injury prompted a reassessment by England.
Tremlett, in the last of his six one-day internationals, conceded 72 runs against New Zealand in Perth in January. He now became England's 636th Test match cricketer.
His inclusion meant England would be fielding their most inexperienced attacks since losing to India by 10 wickets 74 Tests ago at Mohali in 2001, when the number of appearances by their bowling line-up totalled 33 caps.
This time they will field a line-up of 37 caps with Lancashire swing bowler James Anderson, the other change to the side that wrapped up a 3-0 Test series win against the West Indies last month, making his first appearance since the final Test of the 2006-07 Ashes tour.
Meanwhile left-arm spinner Monty Panesar will be the most experienced Test bowler in the England line-up with 17 appearances.
It will also be the first time since the 2005 series against Australia that England have been without one of the quartet of bowlers that helped regain the Ashes - Harmison, Flintoff, Simon Jones and Ashley Giles.
India, who have not won a Test at Lord's and a series in England since 1986, included batsman VVS Laxman at the expense of Yuvraj Singh.
This is the first Test of a three-match series.
England: Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan (capt), Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Chris Tremlett, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar and James Anderson
India: Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Dravid (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth
Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WI), Simon Taufel (Aus) and Third Umpire: Ian Gould (Eng)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SL).