Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami multiplied England's frustrations with maiden Test 50s in a century last-wicket stand as India reached 457 all out on day two of the Investec series.
For the second time in successive summers at Trent Bridge, where Australia's debutant number 11 Ashton Agar came within two runs of an Ashes hundred 12 months ago, England were shut out by a record 10th-wicket partnership.
Kumar (58) and Shami (51 not out) were immovable for 38 overs and put on 111, the highest last stand in any Test between these two countries - after India lost four wickets for two runs to stumble to 346 for nine.
Numbers nine and 11 made a mockery of that stumble, delaying tea by 30 minutes and then returning to complete their 50s in successive balls - Shami's with a six back over the head of England's senior seamer James Anderson, in the process completing the century stand.
Number 11 Shami in particular surpassed himself, 'boasting' a previous all-time high of 33 in his professional career and Test average of 3.33.
Murali Vijay (146) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (82) had completed their own century stand as just one wicket fell before lunch.
Alastair Cook exhausted the conventional captain's manual to try to eke out wickets on day one, and had to explore another set of unlikely methods on another sunny morning.
They included an 8-1 off-side field for Anderson (three for 123) at one point, and at others the abandonment of slip as a catching position in favour of four fielders on the drive.
There was an irony to Vijay's departure, lbw on the back foot to a delivery from Anderson which simulation demonstrated - unlike so many on this surface - would have cleared the stumps.
But India, by their own unilateral volition, have no recourse to DRS in this series - so Vijay's 361-ball, near eight-hour vigil was over.
England had two other opportunities to make progress in the morning session.
The first came in only the third over when Dhoni, without addition to his overnight 50, was dropped by Matt Prior off Stuart Broad - a tough one-handed chance diving to his right.
Dhoni instead picked up two runs for the edged drive, his only scoring shot from the first 30 balls he faced on the resumption.
For all Cook's continued invention, though, the nearest England came to a second morning wicket was when the India captain called Ravindra Jadeja for a single to the final ball of an Anderson over only for Ben Stokes to miss his shy at the stumps from cover and concede four overthrows.
For good measure, Jadeja made his way back on strike to Moeen Ali and promptly desposited England's sole spinner for two straight sixes in three balls.
If that was a break from preceding attrition, it was still more so when England started the afternoon with four wickets in 21 balls.
Jadeja edged behind chasing a short ball from Stokes - and in the same bowler's next over, first Dhoni pushed an attempted single to mid off and was run out by an athletic direct hit from Anderson, then debutant Stuart Binny speared a catch straight to point.
Broad had his second wicket when Ishant Sharma left one that hit the top of off-stump, and it seemed Cook's men were suddenly on the fast track.
But Kumar and Shami had other ideas.
The two tailenders were conspicuously untroubled, although Shami edged Liam Plunkett behind yet was reprieved on 37 by an entirely unconvincing appeal which perhaps persuaded Bruce Oxenford not-out was still in order.
It remained that way until Kumar got greedy and holed out at mid-on off Moeen, attempting a second successive boundary.