Bresnan's 116 not out was the centrepiece of England Lions' 379 for eight.
One consolation for India, on the first day of this three-day game, was that they removed the 'A' side's captain Andrew Strauss, likely to be opening for England in the first Test, for just one.
Bresnan, primarily a pace bowler, was well supported by fellow seamer Stuart Broad (50) during an eighth-wicket stand of 129 in 31 overs after Kent opener Joe Denly made 83.
Yorkshire quick Bresnan went to his hundred off 141 balls with his 12th boundary - off left-arm quick Zaheer Khan - having already struck a six.
Khan led the attack with three for 99, bowling Strauss after the left-hander missed a drive.
Denly, by contrast strong on the drive, fell in sight of a hundred when stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the bowling of off-spinner Ramesh Powar.
India face England in three Tests before taking on their hosts in seven one-day internationals.
Brief Score (D-1):
England A 379 for 8 (Tim Bresnen 116 n o, Joe Denly 83, Stuart Broad 50, Jonathan Trott 46; Zaheer 3 for 99, Sreesanth 2 for 62, Powar 2 for 96) Vs India.