Rohit Sharma celebrates with teammates after taking a catch to dismiss New Zealand's Martin Guptill in the first T20I. (AP Photo)
Besides beating jet lag, Indian batsmen also put up a great fight against the Kiwi bowlers in the opening encounter in Auckland on Friday to chase down a mammoth 203 to go 1-0 up in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand. The Men In Blue, who arrived for the competition only a couple of days ago, finished the job with an over to spare with the help of twin fifties by opener KL Rahul and middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer.
Happy with his team's performance, skipper Virat Kohli, appreciated the efforts and also mentioned that there was no discussion regarding any jet lag among the unit as he did not want any excuses to creep in.
"We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic... This sets up for the whole tour for us. Felt like 80 percent 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," Kohli said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
New Zealand is a good seven and a half hours ahead of India time.
After concluding the 50-over series against Australia at home on Sunday, which India won 2-1, the Men In Blue entered the contest high on confidence. "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 added.
However, the skipper did lament about India's missed chances on the field and asserted that this is one particular area where the team need to work on. "I think fielding is one thing that we can improve on, just getting used to the ground dimensions and the ball snaking a bit."
Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said defending 203 was always going to be tough at this venue.
"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. Being a second-used surface, it was a high scoring game. But with ball in hand, if we could get three or four early, we could have got ahead of the game."