Auckland: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson admitted his side were put under constant pressure by India during the first T20 which they lost by six wickets, adding the hosts need to improve in all areas in the next game.
After being put into bat, New Zealand posted a mammoth 204-run target for India at Eden Park. However, that didn’t prove to be enough as the visitors comfortably chased down the total with six balls to spare and took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
“There are a lot of positives. It is hard to defend here and there was a bit of dew here. We knew we had to score over 200 with this being a used surface,” Williamson said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Credit to India for the way they played,” he added.
India cast aside talk of travel fatigue with half-centuries from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer headlining an emphatic run chase.
Man of the match Iyer hit the winning runs with a booming six to be unbeaten on 58.
Opener Rahul (56) set up the run chase in a 99-run stand off 50 balls for the second wicket with captain Virat Kohli (45).
Although the tourists only arrived in New Zealand on Tuesday, Kohli said they were determined that would not be a factor in how they approached the game.
“We never spoke of the jet lag inside the team. We thought we’re not going to take anything for an excuse, we’re just going to come out there and back our skills,” Kohli said.
“We were just looking forward to going on the park and that’s key to doing well at the international level and probably that’s the reason why we put in a performance like that today.”
The two teams will now take on each other in the second T20I at the same venue on Sunday.
New Zealand 203-5 (Colin Munro 59, Ross Raylor 54*, Ravindra Jadeja 1-18)
India 204-4 (KL Rahul 56, Shreyas Iyer 58*, Ish Sodhi 2-36)
India win by six wickets