A succession of touring batsmen were the architects of their own downfall on Saturday, but Bairstow’s defiant 89 at least enabled his side to recover in part from 87-4 to reach stumps on 268-8.
India – 1-0 up in the five-Test series following their victory in Visakhapatnam last week – will surely be the happier team, though, particularly after ousting Bairstow and Chris Woakes (25) in the closing overs.
Three of England’s top four departed to loose shots in the morning session, while Ben Stokes (29) and the recalled Jos Buttler (43) each shared in restorative partnerships but also gave their wickets away.
Bairstow was able to demonstrate greater sticking power, Test cricket’s leading run-scorer in 2016 again exhibiting his much-improved technique against the turning ball.
Yet after seeing two edges, on 54 and 89, put down by opposite number Parthiv Patel, Bairstow fell lbw to Jayant Yadav (2-49) with 6.2 overs remaining in the day, ending his hopes of becoming the first English keeper to make a century on Asian soil.
Buttler, Woakes and Gareth Batty returned to England’s team at the expense of Ben Duckett, the injured Stuart Broad and Zafar Ansari, while Karun Nair was handed a Test debut by India with KL Rahul unavailable and Parthiv replaced Wriddhiman Saha (thigh) behind the stumps.
Although many of his team-mates got themselves out, Haseeb Hameed (9) could hardly be blamed when an Umesh Yadav (2-58) delivery reared up off a length to take the glove, giving Ajinkya Rahane a simple catch at gully.
Joe Root played horribly across the line to fall lbw to Jayant for 15, while Alastair Cook – dropped twice on his way to 27 – was caught behind looking to cut Ravichandran Ashwin’s (1-43) first ball.
Poor shot selection was again in evidence when Moeen Ali (16), promoted to four in Duckett’s absence, top-edged a hook off Mohammed Shami (1-52) to fine-leg.
And although Stokes and Buttler each contributed to valuable partnerships, they too were guilty of soft dismissals that ensured India remained on top.
Stokes was stumped by Parthiv after dancing down the track to Ravindra Jadeja (2-56) and an encouraging innings from Buttler came to an end at the hands of the same bowler when he chipped tamely to mid-off.
There looked to be no shifting Bairstow as Parthiv failed to take a second edge from the otherwise untroubled Yorkshireman.
However, the very next delivery had Bairstow plumb lbw and India struck another blow in the penultimate over of the day when the impressive Umesh bowled Woakes.