England's winning white-ball run came to a juddering halt at Old Trafford as India, led by centurion KL Rahul, stormed into a 1-0 lead at the start of the Vitality IT20 series.
Jos Buttler's seventh T20 half-century in his last eight attempts, dating back to his Indian Premier League heroics for Rajasthan Royals, hinted at much better than England's eventual 8-159 after being put in.
But Kuldeep Yadav did the damage with a maiden five-wicket haul at this level before Rahul (101no) made short work of the chase as India prevailed with eight wickets and 10 balls to spare, leaving England to contemplate a reality check following last month's six-game white-ball whitewash of Australia.
The conclusion was long foregone once Rahul raced to his 50 from just 27 balls in a second-wicket partnership of 123 with Rohit Sharma.
He escaped one chance when Jason Roy put him down off David Willey on 17, but was otherwise imperious as he cashed in his second T20 international hundred with 10 fours and five sixes.
Whereas England's spinners could make no difference, Kuldeep had stopped the home batsmen in their tracks as they lost three wickets in one over and five for 22 after reaching 1-95.
The home innings was very much one of two halves - before and after the left-arm wrist-spinner's intervention.
In the second, there were three golden ducks and only one double-figure score between eight batsmen after Buttler (69) and Roy had shared a 50 opening stand.
Kuldeep (5-24) conceded a boundary to Buttler, perfectly-placed between long-on and deep midwicket, from his first delivery. He then flummoxed Alex Hales - who was eventually bowled round his legs trying to sweep for eight.
Roy was his usual flamboyant self until he edged an attempted pull at Umesh Yadav down on to his stumps.
It was not until Kuldeep took over, though, that England hit the skids.
Captain Eoin Morgan mistimed an attempted slog-sweep to his opposite number Virat Kohlit.
That was the first ball of Kuldeep's third over, and by the end of it he had two more wickets in two balls as Jonny Bairstow and then Root were both stumped off googlies.
Moeen Ali could not stop the rot and Buttler was Kuldeep's last victim when he was caught at long-on by Kohli.
David Willey had got off the mark with a six first ball off Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the start of the 17th over - which cost 20 runs - and England's number eight hit an unbeaten 29 from just 15 balls.
But Rahul quickly put paid to hopes England had done enough, coming to the crease after the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan - edging on to Willey.
Then even after Rohit Sharma drove Adil Rashid into the hands of extra cover, Kohli duly helped to administer the necessary - passing 2,000 runs in this format along the way.