Put India under pressure - Vaughan

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Michael Vaughan previewed the forthcoming Test series between England and India

Michael Vaughan was unable to play in the early 2006 series with India, but has no doubt about how England won their first Test there in 21 years.

Vaughan led the tourists to India but had to fly home on the eve of the three Tests due to a knee injury, with Andrew Flintoff taking over as captain.

At Nagpur the first Test was drawn but England then suffered a nine-wicket defeat in Mohali, meaning they had to win at Mumbai to share the series.

Andrew Strauss’ century at the Wankhede Stadium underpinned a total of 400 and James Anderson’s four wickets aided a first-innings lead of 121. Set 313 for victory, the hosts buckled to 100 all out with four wickets for Shaun Udal.

Vaughan, who thinks England should aim to do as they did on that occasion in the four-Test rubber starting next week, told ecb.co.uk: “All I’ll say is 'stay in the game, put them under pressure'.

Andrew Flintoff

“As England showed when Freddie was captain in Mumbai in that Test match, he got in the game with a good score in the first innings, things started to crumble," Michael Vaughan said

“As England showed when Freddie was captain in Mumbai in that Test match, he got in the game with a good score in the first innings, things started to crumble. And that’s very important, first-innings runs.”

Having yesterday drawn with India A in the first three-day warm-up, England face Mumbai A tomorrow before meeting Haryana in Ahmedabad - the city of the opening Test.

Vaughan, whose two Tests in India were during December 2001 - at Ahmedabad and Bangalore, elaborated on his point.

“I think India can be there for the taking. I think the way to beat them is get in the game,” he said.

“The first innings it’s so important that you bat a long time, get a big, big score. And if you can take the game to days four and five against India, I really do think you can put them under pressure because everything will mount up, the support, the media. And if you can just question them on days four and five that potentially they can lose the game, I really do think mentally you can get at them.

“If you allow India to get off to good starts, you allow the likes of (Virender) Sehwag and Sachin (Tendulkar) to get good starts and then (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni gains confidence as a Test match captain, I think it will be a big problem for England.

“Days one, two and three, England have to stay in the game, and on days four and five, that’s the pressure days. That’s when you can really get at the Indians.”

Vaughan showed batting improvement during his Tests in India, with scores of 11, 31 not out and 64 - the latter innings ending when the right-hander was given out handled the ball.

“The pitches are generally good, particularly on days one, two and three where you really have to make the most of those conditions. True bounce, not a huge amount of pace, so there’s great opportunities for the batsmen to go on and score big, big scores and they’ll need that [this time].” he added.

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