Kiwis confident, India want fresh start
A seven-wicket win in the opening T20 international against India has made a world of difference to New Zealand who go into the second match in Wellington tomorrow with their tails up.cricket Updated: Feb 26, 2009 13:22 IST
A seven-wicket win in the opening Twenty20 cricket international against India has made a world of difference to New Zealand who go into the second match in Wellington on Friday with their tails up.
"Hopefully this is the start of something," said captain Daniel Vettori, sounding more confident than when he described India as "a huge challenge" before the start of the series.
"It was a really pleasing win, they put us under pressure and we responded well."
But Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not believe the result was a pointer to how the rest of the series would go, with five one-day internationals and three Tests to follow the second Twenty20.
"You can win a game by a big margin and quite convincingly but now it's a fresh start," Dhoni warned.
"We've learned a lot from our mistakes, and we learn quickly.
"I think the New Zealand team knows if we don't make mistakes in the next game they will have to chase a big score."
India's power hitting ability was on display from the start of the first game with Virender Sehwag belting Tim Southee for three consecutive sixes in the opening over.
But Vettori was pleased with the way his bowlers were able to recover and restrict India to 162 for eight and the New Zealand batsmen reeled in the target for the loss of only three wickets and with seven balls to spare.
"I thought it might be the first time I've ever chased 300 in a Twenty20," Vettori joked.
"It was a reasonably daunting start. We knew India have got very good players and it's up to us to back ourselves continually ... We have got to be so precise to get through that initial (batting) onslaught."
But the explosive approach of the Indians was also their downfall as they reached 25 without loss in the second over and then imploded to be six for 82 in the 10th.
Dhoni felt a more measured approach after the flying start could have netted a more competitive 180.
"One area we need to improve on is analysing the situation," he said.
"At times when you're successful (hitting sixes) it looks very good but you have to realise what a safe score is on that wicket.
"You have to decide whether you want to push for 200 or a score you can defend."
Only Suresh Raina batted as if he meant to stay at the crease and he provided an unbeaten 61 from 43 deliveries.
As if to underline their lack of concern at the first-up loss, India cancelled their scheduled practice session when they arrived in Wellington.
However, they confirmed that master batsman Sachin Tendulkar along with Dinesh Karthik, who are sitting out the Twenty20s, would play in the curtain raiser on Friday between the New Zealand and Australian masters teams.
"This is a great opportunity for Tendulkar and Karthik to have a few hits," India coach Gary Kirsten said.
Tendulkar will turn out for the New Zealand Masters, while Karthik will play for Australia.