Captain Alastair Cook became England's most prolific centurion, as England reached a formidable 216 for one in response to India's 316 all out at Eden Gardens.
Welcoming the 23rd ton of his career, Cook passed Kevin Pietersen, Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott for the feat - and finished unbeaten on 136 - amid a 100-run deficit - at the close of play on day two of the third Test in Kolkata.
Enjoying solid support from fellow opener Nick Compton, who welcomed his maiden half-century during a first-wicket alliance of 165, the left-handed Cook later looked to the right-handed Jonathan Trott for Thursday's finishing touches.
Trott dutifully obliged to the tune of a steady, unbeaten 21 - and will be eager to rectify an otherwise average string of scores this year come Friday, when a largely placid track is expect to flatten out even more.
The 27-year-old Cook, second only to Australian captain Michael Clarke in 2012's run-scoring ranks, now sports five centuries in his first five matches as skipper - and also became the youngest player to reach 7,000 Test runs this week.
His latest three-figure defiance was near flawless, though would not have reached such impressive proportions had fielder Cheteshwar Pujara held a sharp chance in the slip cordon when the eventual centurion was only on 17.
The Indian attack proved rather listless, with Ishant Sharma struggling to replicate the fine form of fellow fast bowler Umesh Yadav earlier in the series, and the veteran Zaheer Khan's left-arm seam was afforded very little lateral movement by the flat conditions.
Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha combined for 42 of the 73 overs, and will surely send down considerably more, with home skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni likely to turn to the part-time spin of Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag too.
Compton's fall was India's lone highlight of the innings, but he will be forgiven for feeling entirely aggrieved by the lbw decision that sent him packing for 57. Bizarrely enough, umpire Rod Tucker belatedly raised his finger after initially shaking his head at the appeal. Television replays later showed the right-handed Compton gloved the ball on the sweep before it struck his pad.
Earlier, England were hardly troubled in their bid to wrap up India's first innings inside the first hour of play. Dhoni provided late resistance, moving to an attacking century on the back of consecutive sixes off spinner Monty Panesar.
Panesar, meanwhile, removed tail-enders Zaheer and Ishant in relatively quick succession - and finished with figures of four for 90 - before some rare extra bounce from seamer Steven Finn saw Dhoni spoon a straightforward catch to gully.
Locked at one win apiece in this four-match affair, England will consider the recent ascendancy theirs - thanks to record-breaking effort of their captain. India, meanwhile, need a swift fightback in order to avoid being upstaged in their own backyard again.