It was built up as the big battle pre-series, Anderson v Kohli, and while the latter may have got the upper hand after that moment of fortune, you couldn't say Anderson has bowled anything other than superbly, justly rewarded with a couple of lower-order wickets later in the day.
Dhawan scored 26 off 46 deliveries peppered with some fluent strokes while Vijay made 20.
But Jos Buttler did boost England by returning to the field of play after visiting hospital during the lunch interval to have an X-ray on a damaged left middle finger.
At stumps, Sam Curran was 24 not out and James Anderson unbeaten on nought.
Thanks to Kohli, India was eventually dismissed for 274 - for a first-innings deficit of 13 runs - having been 59-3, 100-5 and 169-7 at various stages.
No fifer for Ashwin but a good bowling performance from Shami.
Inside Adelaide Cottage, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New Home in Windsor
Since the day Meghan Markle has joined the Royals, her life does not seem to approach a stable point even for a moment. He revealed that Meghan was under extreme pressure and that the Royals are really boring and strict with their rules.
Mohammad Shami, surprisingly denied the new ball by Kohli, did trouble both of England's second-wicket duo outside their respective off-stumps without taking a wicket in the opening session of this five-match series.
Ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell said: "I would put that up there in my top five sessions of Test cricket".
Root's wait to score his 14th Test hundred continued in frustrating fashion when he was run out for 80 in a mix-up with Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow. England will doubtless be the happier of the two teams trundling off for tea, the hosts took three wickets - two for Ben Stokes and one more for Sam Curran - to leave India struggling to reach the hosts' below-par first innings total of 285.
"I suppose it just happens to be the ball before I got out that there's a huge hoo-ha about a pigeon". Even over the last 12 to 18 months, I have spent a lot of time back home playing club cricket and I've been working on simplifying my action a bit, (to) make sure that I get more body into the ball and try and create something in the air.
Curran hit the flawless length as first-change bowler and immediately trapped Vijay lbw in the 14th over.