Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], January 28 (ANI): Captain Hardik Pandya was surprised by the spin and bounce offered by the Ranchi wicket where India suffered a 21-run loss in the first T20I of the series.
"No one even thought that the wicket would play like that and both teams were surprised. But they played better cricket on this and that's why the result end up like that. Actually, the new ball was turning more than the old one and the way it spun, the way it bounced, it caught us by surprise," expressed the skipper.
The all-rounder mentioned that the wicket was not a 177-run wicket that was achieved by the Kiwiw team. Pandya however, mentioned that the hosts were in the reckoning until he was out with Suryakumar Yadav in the middle.
Pandya also was critical of his bowlers who were taken apart in the death overs and stated that the team conceded 20-25 runs extra.
"But somehow we pulled it back and were in the game till Surya and myself were batting. In hindsight, I don't think this wicket was 177, we were poor with the ball and conceded 20-25 runs," said the Gujarat Titans skipper.
Reflecting on the game, the captain said that the group is still learning with the youngsters still gaining experience. He also heaped praises on all-rounder Washington Sundar who was brilliant with the ball and the bat.
"It is a young group and we will only learn from this. The way he bowled, batted and fielded, it was Washington against New Zealand today. We needed someone who can bat and bowl, gives us a lot of confidence and will help us going forward," stated the 29-year-old.
New Zealand produced a dominating performance with bat and ball to defeat India by 21 runs in the opening T20I of the three-match series at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.
New Zealand now lead the three-match series 1-0.
Chasing a target of 177, Washington Sundar scored the highest for Team India with 50 of 28 deliveries while vice-captain Suryakumar Yadav played a gritty knock of 47 runs.
For New Zealand, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson bagged two wickets each. (ANI)