When Virat Kohli won the toss, he had the option to send New Zealand to bat first, but the Indian skipper wanted to test out his own batsmen on a pitch that had plenty of grass cover. Yes, the thinking was right, but it did not pan out the way he wanted.
The skipper was happy with how the lower order batsmen showed resilience. He now expects them to be ready as the tournament progresses.
"Very good," Kohli said, of the lower-order contributions at the post-match presentation.
'We got a lot from this game'
"I mean, the one thing we spoke about in a tournament like the World Cup is, you could easily have your top order out for not too many, so the lower order has to look forward to that and I think Hardik [Pandya] batted really well. MS [Dhoni] absorbs the pressure really well and [Ravindra] Jadeja got a few runs as well, so I think from that point of view, we got a lot out of this game, which is what we wanted to," he further added.
India was bundled out for 179 and New Zealand sauntered past the target as the pitch flattened out and conditions became more batting friendly. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor put on a century stand to deflate the Indian bowling attack as the Kiwis got home with six wickets in hand and nearly 13 overs to spare.
"It's going to be very different while batting second and we saw that in this [game] in the latter half of our innings as well," he said.
However, the captain appreciated his bowlers and praised their consistency even on a flat pitch. He now wants them to keep hitting those areas on a more consistent basis.
"I think we bowled in the right areas, they were going at about four, four-and-a-half, which I think we would take any day in a tournament where the pitches are going to be good. If we can keep hitting those areas consistent with the new ball and then if the spinners do their jobs as well, we're going to be fine with that bowling attack," the skipper added.
The biggest positive for India in the match was the batting of Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya and it throws up an interesting debate for the management when the actual tournament begins. Jadeja could well get into the side ahead of Vijay Shankar as the second all-rounder, which could mean a wrist spinner could miss out.