New Zealand were comfortably beaten by seven wickets in the second of five matches at Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday.
Opener Martin Guptill scored a quickfire 33 off 20 balls but Indian bowlers kept things tight for the Black Caps restricting them at 132-5 and then completing the run-chase in only 17.3 overs.
“We certainly felt that the pitch was getting slower and slower when we were batting. It got harder and harder to bat as the game progressed. We needed one of the top three-four to bat majority of the innings. We weren’t able to get partnerships to add up the total,” Guptill told reports after New Zealand lost second successive T20I vs India.
The surface at Eden Park was on the slower side as compared to the first game where the Kiwis scored 203.
“It was a slightly different wicket. Earlier on, it was coming nicely. Colin (Munro) and I were off to a reasonable start. We lost momentum thereafter the sixth over, and we had to sort of rebuild from there,” he added.
The set-total was a tough one to defend admitted Guptill.
“We probably knew we were light on runs. But we had to try and defend that, and get early wickets upfront. Thought the bowlers did well in the front six overs, we needed more wickets after Virat got out. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul batted very well and we were not able to break that partnership,” he said.
Guptill and Colin Munro added 48 runs for the opening wicket after 80 in the first game.
“Our role in the team is to be aggressive and we go out there to do that. One of us would have been good to bat 15 overs to set the innings up and have guys bat around us. It was not supposed to be today and we have time to try to do that in the next game and do a better performance,” the 33-year-old added.
When asked the total which would have been optimal on such a track, he replied,” I thought maybe 170 would have been alright. But obviously we were way off. India bowled very well tonight and bowled as straight as possible. There were a lot of dot balls tonight and that impacted our innings.”
Guptill also heaped praise for Jasprit Bumrah’s versatility at the death. “Lot of swing and misses. We were trying but we were facing one of the best death bowlers in the world (Jasprit Bumrah). It is tough to get him away at the end.”
The Kiwi opener felt that India once again out-batted them on a difficult track.
“They played very well, as hard as they did the other night. They built partnerships to put pressure on us. We were not able to do that and got out-batted tonight. India have got some great players and match winners. It is hard for the boys to go out there and try their best. Sometimes you come up short,” Guptill signed off.
The defeat – the Black Caps fifth in a row following their 3-0 Test series loss in Australia – came after the tourist’s six-wicket victory in the first match of the series at the same venue on Friday (January 24).