India also beat the jet lag besides New Zealand in the T20 series opener here and skipper Virat Kohli said Friday’s convincing win was just the kind of start his team was looking for.
India, who arrived only a couple of days ago, chased down New Zealand’s 203 for five with an over to spare.
Kohli had spoken about the tight scheduling in the pre-match press conference but there was no such talk within the team.
“We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic… This sets up for the whole tour for us. Felt like 80 percent support was for us and the crowd was right behind us. You need that sort of push chasing 200 plus. We never spoke of the jet lag in the team. We didn’t want any excuse,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation.
New Zealand is a good seven and a half hours ahead of India time.
India came into the series high on confidence, having beaten Australia 2-1 at home in the ODI series that concluded on Sunday.
“We had a really good series against Australia and we took that confidence in here. You can’t be harsh on anyone on this kind of pitch. I think we did well in the middle overs, to restrict them under 210 was a good effort.
“I think fielding is one thing that we can improve on, just getting used to the ground dimensions and the ball snaking a bit,” said Kohli, referring to the longer side boundaries and short straight boundaries at the peculiar shaped Eden Park.
Shreyas Iyer (58 not out off 29) finished the game for India after K L Rahul (56off 27) and Kohli (45 off 32) provided the launch pad.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said defending 203 was always going to be tough at this venue.
“We know coming to Eden Park it’s hard to defend and there was a bit of dew and obviously India showed their class. We knew batting first we had to get a good total on the board.
“Being a second-used surface, it was a high scoring game. But with ball in hand, if we could get three or four early, we could have got ahead of the game.”
Williamson himself blazed away to a 26-ball 51.
“Taking pace off seemed to be working okay, but it was tough to execute because India put us under pressure constantly. But we do need to find ways to pick up some wickets.
“It was nice to build some partnerships. Guys came in and played their roles really well. It’s important we improve in all areas in the next game,” said Williamson.
We didn’t put enough pressure on Indian batsmen: Ross Taylor
New Zealand’s Ross Taylor lamented that their bowlers didn’t put enough pressure on the Indian batsmen in the first T20 International, held at a ground with odd dimensions.
Shreyas Iyer’s second T20 half-century powered the visitors to a six-wicket win, completing a stiff chase of 204 with an over to spare.
Taylor said that the hosts were probably 10-15 runs short on a batting beauty at Eden Park, but failed with extras and lack of pressure on the Indian middle order.
“It is hard to tell at Eden Park. In the last three overs India bowled well and we didn’t get a big over. We still did get 100 in the last 10 overs to put pressure on them but it’s always hard to gauge,” Taylor said.
“We bowled well but sometimes have to give credit to how batsmen are. In T20s you have to learn quick and we have to adapt. Our bowlers will have to look at them and at the same time their batsmen are a class line-up all the way through.
“The way we attack them in the next game will be crucial. How we attack them and how we do that on Sunday.”
Colin Munro and Kane Williamson scored attacking half centuries before Taylor made his first T20I half-century in six years to propel New Zealand to 203 for five.
The batsman appreciated the base set earlier but said the middle order didn’t generate enough momentum in the last few overs.
“A lot of times when you play at Eden Park wind is a factor and you are able to attack from both ends. It was hard to know what a good total is. They won with an over to spare so we were definitely 10-15 runs short.”
“What they did better was we lost couple of wickets in crucial stages and the new batsmen were not able to get the momentum or rotate strike.
“In India’s batting, we were not able to get those quick dots and get the rate up to put them under pressure at 10-11 (per over). We were stuck at nine and a half for a long time (and couldn’t restrict them) and on Eden Park batsmen always feel comfortable,” he said.
Taylor also spoke about the difference Jasprit Bumrah’s experience made in the death overs.
“He has been a class bowler for a long time and one of the best death bowlers going around. He has a potent slow ball, and that extra pace, so you have to adapt to both the slower and quicker ball.
“He showed us what to expect and we need to learn quickly and play their bowlers slightly better,” he said.
The Eden Park wicket and ground came under scrutiny as bowlers from both sides suffered in the first T20.
Taylor said that the ground’s dimensions adds an unpredictable factor to the game and added that both teams must adapt before Sunday’s second game here.
“You just cannot be predictable with both bat and ball, and am not sure, what our extras count is. You can either bowl too short or too full we know that the short boundaries are very short so you cannot be predictable.
“On a good wicket you can clear the boundaries with ease. Eden Park definitely adds a new dimension and what we have learnt is that in two games in a row it slows up a little bit.
“We just have to wait and see, and adapt, if there will be any dew. Eden Park is not the easiest ground to field with such low lights.”
Taylor praised the way India went about their task.
“They ran between the wickets fantastically well and sometimes touring teams can take a little time to get used to things here. But the way they played, last year they learnt playing on these grounds and adapted a lot quicker than they did last year,” he said.
Iyer and Manish Pandey came together after the dismissal of both K L Rahul and Virat Kohli, but were able to resist the pressure situation.
Taylor said their bowlers needed to learn and adapt better as Iyer showed what he is capable of doing in the middle despite his relative inexperience.
“He (Iyer) is not very experienced in international cricket, but in a pressure situation made it look easy with some of those boundaries. If he had got out, then a new batsman coming in and couple of dots would have made the run rate up,” Taylor signed off.