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England can level series: Vaughan

England were beaten by six wickets in Chennai after holding what appeared to be a winning position but Vaughan, watching the tour from home, said he was proud of his teammates’ performance following the interruption to the tour by the terror attacks on Mumbai.

He said: “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.

“The England team can be very proud of the way they played. For three-and-three-quarter days they dominated the Test and that is something which is very difficult to do in India.”

Wearing his captaincy hat, Vaughan rued the fourth afternoon of the match, when England’s run rate slowed, giving India their first respite in the game.

“The defining moment was that middle session (on day four) when we probably let the momentum sway back towards India when we could have nailed home the game."

Vaughan, taking a sabbatical from the international game, has been in contact with the players during the tour and is confident that morale is good despite the defeat. “One thing with the England team is we do have a ‘bulldog spirit’, a fighting spirit. We proved that in this game.”

However, Vaughan, England’s most successful Test captain, warned that producing another big effort in the second Test that starts Friday, would be no easy task.

“The hard thing is doing it again,” he said. “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 put runs on the board, they can put India under a lot of pressure.”

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

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