Auckland: 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 here 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 stated Friday that it did not affect the team much.
“We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic… This win sets up for the whole tour for us. Felt like 80 per cent 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 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,” Kohli stated.
“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 n o off 29b) finished the game for India after KL Rahul (56 off 27b) and Kohli (45 off 32b) provided the launch pad.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said defending 203 was always going to be tough at Eden Park.
“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,” said Williamson
“Being a second-used surface, it was a high scoring game. But with ball in hand, if we could get three or four wickets early, we could have got ahead of the game, but that did not happen,” added the Kiwi skipper.
Williamson however, was not ready to blame his bowlers. “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,” he asserted.