Jos Buttler made 43 on his return to Test cricket on Saturday, but felt both he and England missed a chance to further punish India in Mohali.
Having won the toss on the opening day of the third Test, England struggled to 268-8 at stumps, Buttler's score the second highest behind Jonny Bairstow's 89.
Looking to level the five-match series at 1-1 after a heavy defeat in Visakhapatnam, England would have hoped for a better day on a pitch which is expected to deteriorate as the match progresses.
The likes of Alastair Cook (27), Joe Root (15), Moeen Ali (16) and Ben Stokes (29) all made starts before perishing to ill-advised strokes, and Buttler conceded it was an opportunity missed to assume control.
He told Sky Sports: "The guys are a little bit disappointed with a few dismissals and we didn't quite make the most of the conditions.
"After winning the toss on day one you try and build a formidable score.
"The way Jonny batted - he's been in fantastic form for a long period of time - showed we could have built a big score but all is not lost. If we can get around 300 we are in the game.
"We've started to see a few balls keeping low and spin so runs on the board are crucial and it's vital we get as many as we can."
Buttler came into the side in place of Ben Duckett as one of three changes, batting at seven with Moeen moving up to four and Bairstow to five.
On his first Test outing in more than a year, Buttler is determined to capitalise on his chance to impress, although he was disappointed to chip a catch to cover off Ravindra Jadeja as he closed in on a half century.
"I've really enjoyed being back around the guys, it's a fantastic place to come and tour," he said. "I've been trying to make sure that if I get a chance to make the most of it.
"In an ideal world you'd love to come off a string of games but it's not something I've found to be a big issue.
"I try not to worry about a change of formats, the colour of the ball, and try and take a similar mindset.
"I always try and be positive, and maybe I got caught a little bit in between and I was disappointed with the half-hearted way to get out."