Wellington - New Zealand media on Wednesday
hailed as a "masterstroke" the bold selection behind the Black Caps'
stunning win over India in the World Twenty20 opener.
"What a twist", trumpeted Fairfax
NZ's stuff.co.nz website after New Zealand's unheralded spinners tweaked the
Black Caps to a 47-run victory over the hosts in Nagpur.
"Selection masterstroke turns the
cricket world on its head, as NZ spinners slay India," it added, referring
to coach Mike Hesson's decision to opt for a three-pronged spin attack and omit
seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
The gambit paid off spectacularly as the slow
bowlers took nine wickets on a dustbowl, including four for 11 from man-of-the
match Mitchell Santner.
"India, the world number one ranked
T20 side and tournament favourites, were undone at their own game in their own
conditions," the site said, pointing out New Zealand had now won their
past five T20 matches against India.
The New Zealand Herald declared it the best
possible start to the tournament for the Black Caps, who face Australia on
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell said
the tactic was reminiscent of the recently deceased New Zealand great Martin
Crowe's decision to open with spin at the 1992 World Cup, when the Black Caps
made the semi-finals.
"Martin Crowe was way ahead of himself
back in 1992 when he introduced it with Dipak Patel," Chappell told
"(He) had a lot of success... after
what we have seen tonight there will be more teams adapting that tactic."
Former New Zealand paceman Simon Doull said
India came unstuck by using home advantage to prepare a spin-friendly wicket,
rather than trusting in the quality of their batsmen.
"It doesn't happen very often like
that, that India get spun out," he told Radio Sport.
"I think India have a terrific side,
they just need to play on good surfaces because their batting is so good. They
don't need to make pitches like this."
West Indies legend Brian Lara said defeat
meant the hosts were unlikely to prepare such a "disappointing"
wicket again, adding: "This could be the early lesson India needed to go
all the way."
England all-rounder Ben Stokes joked that
he had not seen such a poor quality deck since he was a schoolboy growing up in
his native New Zealand.
"The astro-turf pitch with cigarette
burns on a length at my old school was a better than that wicket," he