Alastair Cook started his reign as England's Test captain with a century that steered his side to 286-4 in reply to India A's 369 at stumps on day two of the tour opener.
Cook, elevated to the top job following Andrew Strauss' retirement, finished unbeaten on 112 at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium.
He was well supported by Jonathan Trott (56) in a second-wicket stand of 95 and later put on an unbroken 153 with Samit Patel (82no) for the fifth wicket.
Kevin Pietersen also briefly shone in his first innings for his country since last summer's text-message saga, racing to 23 off 24 balls before being caught-and-bowled by old nemesis Yuvraj Singh.
But there was disappointment for Nick Compton, who fell for a third-ball duck after being handed the chance to open alongside Cook and press his claims for a Test debut in Strauss' place when the four-match series starts in Ahmedabad on November 15.
Compton, the leading run scorer in first-class cricket last summer, shouldered arms at his first two deliveries and edged the next one behind in Ashok Dinda's opening over.
Ian Bell was the other batsman to miss out, caught by Suresh Raina at slip to become a second wicket in as many overs for left-arm spinner Yuvraj (2-52).
Bell's exit reduced England to 133-4 but that was the final breakthrough of the day for India A as Cook and Patel took centre stage for the remainder of the afternoon and throughout the evening session.
Cook's only blemish was an escape on 87 when he edged an attempted cut at Yuvraj and was dropped by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. He went on to complete his 39th first-class hundred and by the close had faced 251 balls and hit 13 fours, while Patel's 82 came off 145 deliveries with 12 fours.
Earlier, James Anderson (2-65) trapped Vinay Kumar lbw for 25 with the first ball of the day to polish off India A's first innings.