India v England, 1st Test, Chennai December 17, 2008

England let the game slip on day four - Vaughan

Cricinfo staff

England scored 57 runs and lost five wickets between lunch and tea on day four of the Chennai Test © Getty Images

Michael Vaughan has pinpointed the second session of day four as the time when England let the game slip from their hands in Chennai. England scored 57 runs and lost five wickets between lunch and tea on Sunday and declared on 311 for 9 three overs after tea, which gave India nearly four sessions to chase the record target of 387.

"We probably let the momentum sway back towards India when we could have nailed home the game," Vaughan told Telegraph TV. But he praised the team for its performance after it went in to the Test as the underdog. "For three-and-three-quarter days they dominated the Test and that is something which is very difficult to do in India.

"It was a great game of cricket. Both teams played to an incredible standard in terms of what they'd gone through in the previous two weeks."

Vaughan said it would be difficult for England to repeat their efforts in the second Test in Mohali starting on Friday. "We've just lost a real big game, a game that all the lads would have expected to win on that fourth evening. It's going to be a real task of mental strength. The boys are pretty drained and emotionally tired from what they've been through in the last few weeks. But if they win the toss, and bat, and get put runs on the board they can put India under a lot of pressure.

"One thing with the England team is we do have a 'bulldog spirit', a fighting spirit. We proved that in this game."

Vaughan said he was eager to return to Test cricket after watching such an absorbing game. "My mind is very refreshed and … I'm desperate to get out there and make decisions, play and score runs."