Alistair Cook's men fell four wickets short of what would have been an entirely unexpected first test victory in Rajkot, in the first of a five-test series versus the Indians.
Nevertheless, after an impressive showing in all departments, England will be growing in confidence of not just a lone test victory, but a series win on the subcontinent versus the No.1 ranked test side in the world - just weeks after humiliation to Bangladesh in Sher-E-Bangla.
Hameed arrival huge fillip
The biggest fillip for England coach Trevor Bayliss was the emergence on Lancashire's Haseeb Hameed. In his test debut, the 19-year-old became the youngest-ever opening test batsman for the tourists, and only the sixth teen to play for Englands test side, scoring 82 in his second innings.
Falling just 18 runs shy of an historic debut test ton, Hameed in not only a burgeoning talent at number two, but his clean pair of hands could quickly fill the omnipresent void left by James Taylor since his retirement from the sport earlier this year.
Hameed took three catches and in doing so became the first debutant since Paul Collingwood to take a trio of scalps in his first match.
Nicknamed 'Baby Boycott' in some quarters, pundits have suggested also that the teen could be England's answer to former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
Rashid sheen must to continue
With the ball, Adil Rashid finally proved his worth outside of the one-day format on the game.
The Yorkshire leggy took seven wickets and Man of The Match in Gurajdat, on a relatively green wicket that for three days had little life and few surprises.
Rashid took 4-114 and 3-64 in the first of a series of that is likely to be dominated by spin and seam. His performance will give a welcome alternative to Moeen Ali's off-breakers.
Zafar Ansari in just his second game made a useful contribution for the tourists with combined figures of 3-113, at an ecomony rate of 3.35 from 23 overs.
Kohli the key
Having taken 16 wickets in Rajkot, the questions remains whether England can take four more on a subcontinent deck, with just three specialist spinners.
Virat Kohli was always likely to be a source of consternation for the tourists as arguably the best in the world right now.
His stand with Ravi Jadeja firmly put the dampeners on hopes a test win and history could attempt to repeat itself in Vizag this time around.
On a pitch that expected to turn significantly, the tourists are set for a trial-by-spin from messrs Ashwin and co. However if England are to notch a first win of the series - in this or any of the remaining three tests - the removal of captain Kohli is vital.