It was cricket in a different setting for New Zealand's vice-captain Daniel Vettori and former cricketer Chris Cairns at the Parsee Gymkhana, Mumbai on Monday. Taking part in a promotional event, the two mingled with tiny tots, patiently signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Vettori was philosophical about the semifinal loss to traditional rivals Australia. "There are mixed feelings. We are reasonably happy at having made it to the semifinal, but then again losing to Australia was disappointing. We thought we had a good chance chasing, but they outplayed us."
Chris Cairns underlined some areas for improvement. "The bowlers and the lower order performed very well. Shane Bond is such a great weapon in our armoury. Kyle Mills too had a great tournament. But the top order was below par. I think that is something that needs to be addressed."
Vettori was also uncomfortable with the "dark horses" tag. "That tag has come about because we haven't been as consistent with our cricket as we would like to be. Underdogs means a team that can lose any match. We want to shed that tag, and the only way to do that is play consistently.
"It's not that we play badly, it's just about the pieces falling in place regularly," the left arm spinner said.
With New Zealand's next series in Sri Lanka, there is a lot of attention on the spin department in the Kiwi side. Both Vettori and Cairns feel that Jeetan Patel is developing as a good option.
"Jeetan Patel is a good spinner and we make a good combination. Obviously that's very good for the team and I guess we will be the two main spinners for the World Cup," Vettori said.
Vettori also believes that the core of the side for the World Cup is already in place. "Majority of the side is similar to that of now. But there is a bit of room to manoeuvre. It is up to some of the guys in domestic cricket to stand up and perform and show that they need to be picked. Injuries may be a concern as well."
Both New Zealanders acknowledge the power of Australia in world cricket.
"Australia are head and shoulders above everybody else, and they have such a balanced side, with Shane Watson opening the batting and the option of the extra seamer. Unless there are injury problems, they are favourites to win the World Cup," Cairns said.
Vettori is looking forward to playing Australia at home before the World Cup. "We are playing the VB series in Australia before the World Cup, and we play seven games against them. It is obviously great because when you play the best, you also learn."