England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in the fifth and final Test against India at The Oval on Friday.
That meant Alastair Cook, in what was the opening batsman's 161st and final Test appearance before his international retirement, would be straight into the action.
Former England captain Cook, England's record Test run-scorer, was presented with a commemorative cap by Andrew Strauss, his predecessor as Test skipper, before play started.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves and Strauss, his former opening partner oversaw the presentation ceremony.
ECB director Strauss addressed the England team before handing Cook a cap numbered 161 to mark the final international match of the 33-year-old Essex left-hander's 12-year international career.
England had announced on Thursday they would be unchanged in personnel from the side that won by 60 runs at Southampton on Monday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in this five-match series.
But they had also confirmed that Jonny Bairstow would resume as wicket-keeper for this match after breaking a finger behind the stumps during the third Test at Trent Bridge.
India, the world's top-ranked Test side, made two changes, with Ravindra Jadeja replacing unfit fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari given a Test debut after the tourists dropped all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Moeen Ali, Joe Root (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
India: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wkt), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Umpires: Joel Wilson (WIS), Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)