Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes cashed in career-bests as England's pace bowlers dismissed India for 148 on day one of the fifth Investec Test.
As at Old Trafford last week, when the tourists lost five wickets by lunch having opted to bat, at the Oval they found immediate trouble once more - this time after Alastair Cook chose to bowl first.
Conspicuous movement off the pitch and in the air vindicated his decision, and India succumbed against pace under cloud cover until Mahendra Singh Dhoni's fourth half-century of the summer limited the damage.
England's prospects of closing out a much-needed series victory, from 2-1 up, were nonetheless already significantly enhanced.
Manchester service was abundantly resumed by their seam attack, the only difference that it was back-up pair Jordan (three for 32) and Woakes (three for 30) who proved themselves here after James Anderson and Stuart Broad made the early strikes.
Anderson needed only four deliveries, and Gautam Gambhir's first, to instantly advance one nearer to Sir Ian Botham's England all-time Test wicket-taking record.
Gambhir, recalled to little effect at Old Trafford, managed only the minimum stay - caught-behind off the face of the bat as he tried unsuccessfully to leave a ball that bounced and seamed alarmingly.
The prodigious new-ball movement continued for both Anderson and Broad, and it was the latter who profited next when he snaked a perfect ball back through Cheteshwar Pujara's forward-defence to hit the top of off-stump via the number three's front pad.
India tried to dig in. But Virat Kohli's hugely disappointing tour continued when umpire Kumar Dharmasena judged that first-change Jordan had found enough angle into the batsman to win an lbw verdict with no shot played.
When Jordan doubled up, holding a return chance from Ajinkya Rahane, India's chances of posting a competitive first-innings total were fading fast.
Opener Murali Vijay had stood firm but could not extend his vigil beyond Woakes' second over - Joe Root posted close at gully, wearing a helmet, and holding on to a low, juggling catch as bounce compromised the back-foot defence.
After lunch, Anderson made short work of Stuart Binny with a routine edge to Cook at slip.
With Broad a little off colour in his second spell, the hint of a fightback from Dhoni and Ravi Ashwin was short-lived as the number eight fell to another low gully catch by Root off Woakes.
England had caught very well, and Jos Buttler was safe again as Bhuvneshwar Kumar chased a wide one to give Jordan a wicket in the first over of a spell for the second time.
Varun Aaron tried to stick around only to eventually loop a return catch back to Woakes. Number 11 Ishant Sharma escaped a clear run-out chance on nought and then again on one when Ian Bell dropped a sharp catch away to his right at second slip off Jordan.
Dhoni was eventually last out, with well over half the team's 148 to his name but in anti-climax when he pulled Broad straight to deep backward-square to end a partnership of 58 with Sharma.
Dhoni scored 82, having struck 15 fours and a six, while Sharma finished unbeaten on seven.