Vettori, Dhoni start form scratch in the final Twenty20

Twenty20 may boost the bank accounts of the modern day international cricketer but neither Daniel Vettori nor Mahendra Singh Dhoni placed too much stock on last night's tour-opening slogfest in Christchurch.

The BLACKCAPS may have won by the comfortable margin of seven wickets but captain Vettori denied the six-hitting spree provided a psychological advantage for the upcoming one-day and test series.

Counterpart Dhoni felt the outcome was largely irrelevant and Vettori agreed.

Dhoni shrugged off the loss, describing it as a learning exercise and a useful opportunity to acclimatise to the type of pitches they can expect to encounter.

But he admitted his side's batting approach may have to be tempered after a procession of top order batsmen seemed intent on solely clearing the boundary.

India rocketed to 19 off the first over as Virender Sehwag planted the first three balls he faced for six, but his assault lasted only 10 balls and from then on New Zealand successfully limited the damage.

Although the Indians plundered 40 off the first four overs by the time their total doubled at the 10-over mark, they were six wickets down.

Ultimately a score of 162 for eight was insufficient -- 13 sixes were struck but partnerships were in short supply.

There was a noticeable lack of urgency between the wickets compared to the scampering Brendon McCullum, who marshalled the chase with an unbeaten 56 from 49 balls.

India's batsmen recorded just three twos in their innings as they persisted with a six-or-bust approach.

"One area we need to improver on is analysing the situation," Dhoni said.

"At times when you're successful (hitting sixes) it looks very good but you have to realise what a safe score is on that wicket.

"You have to decide whether you want to push for 200 or a score you can defend."

India were in strife at 83 for six after 10 overs, with only 22-year-old left hander Suresh Raina buckling down to provide a brisk 61 from 43 deliveries.

"You need wickets in hand and that's what they did," Dhoni said of New Zealand eventually making 166 for three with seven balls to spare.

Dhoni bristled at suggestions New Zealand had gained a mental leg-up by containing with the ball and staying composed with the bat.

"You can win a game by a big margin and quite convincingly but now it's a fresh start.

"We've learn a lot from our mistakes, and we learn quickly," Dhoni warned.

"I think the New Zealand teams know if we don't make mistakes in the next game they will have to chase a big score."

That was hardly news to Vettori, who was relieved his attack emerged generally unscathed from the Sehwag-inspired pyrotechnics.

Tim Southee and Nathan McCullum took some tap but Vettori, who took a miserly one for 18 from four overs, was delighted to peg the Indians back.

"I really pleased we restricted a destructive team to 160 on a very small ground."

After Sehwag launched in the opening over, Vettori feared the eventual target might be out of reach.

"I thought it might be the first time I've ever chased 300 in a Twenty20," he smiled.

"It was a reasonably daunting start. We knew India have got very good players and it's up to us to back ourselves continually.

"They are going to put us under pressure the whole series so I was pleased with the guys who fronted up against it.

"We have got to be so precise to get through that initial (batting) onslaught. It took us a little while to catch up so the next game there'll be huge expectations on our opening bowlers to get us off to a more precise start."

Meanwhile, to underline the lack of concern in the Indian camp they cancelled a planned practice session shortly after arriving in the capital today.

NZPA

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