Chennai: Indian spinners dominated the first session as they managed to get three crucial wickets in the opening session of day two to push England on back foot in the first Test against India in Chennai.
Amit Mishra scalped two while off-spinner Harbhajan got one as England innings were tottering on 294/8 at lunch.
Resuming the second day at the Chepauk Stadium on 229 for five, England received a setback as all rounder Flintoff fell in third over of the morning. Attempting to fend off a full-length delivery from Amit Sharma, Flintoff only succeeded in deflecting the ball off his pad to Gautam Gambhir at short leg to give India a flying start.
Mishra continued his good performance as he picked his second wicket of the day in the form of night watchman James Anderson. Off-spinner Harbhajan accounted debutant GP Swann (1) for his first dismissal of the day.
Earlier on Thursday, the visitors squandered a solid start to allow India claw back into the game with four wickets in the last session and lost the initiative.
Andrew Strauss' 13th Test hundred and his century stand with Alastair Cook for the opening wicket were the only bright spots on day one as the visitors finished the day at 229/5.
Anderson had battled for almost two hours for his 19 and prevented England collapsing after Flintoff's early demise, but was soon followed by debutant Graeme Swann back to the dressing room.
Despite predictions of a turning wicket, there had been few signs of big turn until Swann faced Harbhajan in the next over and was beaten by a delivery which kicked off the pitch and he fended to slip.