The Leicestershire paceman registered 4-51, James Anderson took a well-deserved 3-38 while Flintoff returned with the 1 for 38 in his 10 overs as England manoeuvred themselves into an excellent position in their bid to take a 3-1 lead.
Sachin Tendulkar (55) and Yuvraj Singh (71) steadied the ship with a partnership of 71 after India had been reduced to 32 for three, but once the little master was removed by Kevin Pietersen, the tourists never looked like posting a healthy target.
For the fourth time in the series, Rahul Dravid won the toss and there was little doubt that his decision to bat was the right one, but England's new-ball pair proved it otherwise.
On a seamer-friendly pitch, Sourav Ganguly always looked uncomfortable during his short stay at the crease before perishing for a half-hearted pull off Anderson with Bell holding a regulation catch.
Tendulkar edged Anderson through the vacant third slip area for four, but in the next over Dinesh Karthik (4) had no such luck when he slashed at a short one from Broad and Matt Prior did the rest.
Flintoff came to ball as first change in 12th over and he was given immediate rewards.
The Lancashire all-rounder, back in the side at the after passing a fitness test on his right knee, produced a hostile spell of fast bowling in the process dismissed Dravid with a peach of a away going delivery which induced an faint edge only to find the gloves of Prior.
Collingwood introduced Monty Panesar within the final five-over powerplay and Tendulkar took advantage, striking two boundaries from the slow left-armer's first over.
But at the other end, Flintoff was at his best, sending down three maidens on trot.
The India pair progressed steadily, dealing mostly in singles, and a odd boundary from Yuvraj - cutting Panesar bast backward point - brought up a sedate 50 partnership.
A similar shot from Yuvraj in Panesar's next over suggested the tourists were upping the rate at 92 for three and Tendulkar brought up his half-century from 81 deliveries with a single off Collingwood.
But the key wicket came from an unlikely source, with the little master looking to take advantage of the part-time spin of Pietersen.
A big pull shot could have brought him six runs - instead it found the bucket hands of Flintoff, who held a tough chance running round the boundary to leave India 103 for four.
Yuvraj edged between Prior and slip for four, but in general runs were hard to come by and Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell to a Panesar special - one which pitched on middle and turned to clip the wicket-keeper's off-stump.
And Ajit Agarkar, replacing Munaf Patel in the India line-up to strengthen India's lengthy tail, went for six in the next over, edging Broad through to Prior.
While the hard-hitting Yuvraj was still in, India still had a chance of posting a big total and he took 16 from one Stuart Broad over including a big leg-side six to bring up his 50.
But with the score on 178, the left-hander was bowled round his legs by a full-length Broad delivery for 71 and Ramesh Powar, with whom he had shared a stand of 31, fell in the same over mistiming a pull shot to Bell.
Piyush Chawla (13 not out) and Zaheer Khan (20) took India past 200 before the latter became Anderson's second wicket thanks to a steepling Collingwood catch and Ravi Bopara took a diving catch to remove RP Singh (0) two balls later.
India 212 all out in 49.4 overs (Yuvraj 71, Tendulkar 55, Zaheer 20;Broad 4 for 51, Anderson 3 for 38, Flintoff 1 for 31, Pietersen 1 for 6) Vs England.