New Delhi - Skipper Kane Williamson said dewy conditions
were no excuse after New Zealand dropped a string of catches on their way to
their first Twenty20 defeat to India.
The Kiwis are known for their excellent fielding but they
put down three crucial catches to allow the hosts to post 202-3 on Wednesday.
India won by 53 runs, ending a run of five defeats.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma received early
reprieves during their record 158-run stand to lay a solid platform after being
invited to bat first.
The dew at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla made life difficult for
the fielders but Williamson said it did not excuse the sloppy fielding.
"You do want to make a difference in the park when our
bowlers were struggling against guys that were in good form and hitting the
ball really well," Williamson told reporters on Wednesday.
"It's what we pride ourselves on. We were disappointing
today in the park. Dew... is part of the challenge. Guys have experienced dew
many times, so it's not an excuse," he added.
Mitchell Santner dropped Dhawan on two before the
left-handed opener went on to make a 52-ball 80 and take the steam out of the
Tim Southee then spilled another sitter at long-off to allow
Sharma, who was on 16, to go on to score 80 runs including four sixes.
Virat Kohli was also a beneficiary of New Zealand's butter
fingers as Martin Guptill dropped the skipper on eight. The star batsman hit an
unbeaten 11-ball 26.
"That (fielding) made the difference as we saw today
that proved to be vital in a lot of ways," said Williamson.
"Guys went on to score big scores for their side in the
Indian team and 200 on that surface was a very big total."
India then kept down the visitors to 149-8, giving paceman
Ashish Nehra a fitting farewell in the last match of his 18-year-old playing
Williamson also praised India's new-ball bowlers Jasprit
Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for their world-class consistency.
"You do need to be aggressive to try and take on
bowlers and we've seen Bhuvi and Bumrah throughout not just the one-dayers but
for a long time in the IPL," said Williamson.
"I've been fortunate to play with Bhuvi and against
Bumrah and they are the most consistent bowlers in world cricket," he
The action now moves to Rajkot for the second T20 on