South African-born batsman Kevin Pietersen scored a patient 64 as England reached 163-4 on a rain interrupted first day of the second Test against India.
Pietersen and the diminutive Ian Bell (38) added 81 for the third wicket after Indian seamer Irfan Pathan took wickets in successive overs to reduce the tourists to 36-2.
Paul Collingwood (19) and Flintoff (4) are the undefeated batsmen for England heading into day two, with bad light forcing play to end after tea with only 50 overs bowled.
This followed a 45-minute delay to the start of play due to overnight rain.
Acting England captain Andrew Flintoff celebrated the birth of his child, a son, when he won the toss and batted on the dry Mohali pitch, with both sides looking to gain the upper hand in the series after a draw in the opening match.
India named three spinners in its side with 17-year-old Piyush Chawla becoming the second youngest Test player for the country.
Munaf Patel came into the side when Sri Sreesanth was ruled out with a virus while Yuvraj Singh was back after injury.
England dropped Ian Blackwell to include seamer Liam Plunkett.