India captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said the team had learnt a valuable lesson that batting in T20s is not always about playing big shots after they edged out New Zealand in the first T20I at Jaipur.
Chasing 165 in tricky conditions, India looked set for an easy at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium at 144/3 in 16.3 overs before almost messing up a simple run chase.
"It didn't come as easy as we expected, so great learning for the guys, to understand what needs to be done, not about power-hitting all the time," Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
"As a captain and a team, happy that those guys finished the game off. A good game for us, missing a few players, opportunity to other guys to show their ability."
He also lavished praised on Suryakumar Yadav whose 40-ball 62 put India in a winning position. "Sky (Suryakumar) is a very important player for us in the middle, plays spin well," said Rohit.
Rohit also scored a crucial 36-ball 48 upfront before being dismissed by Mumbai Indians teammate Trent Boult.
"Trent Boult knows my weakness, I know his strength. When I am captaining him I always tell him to bluff and that's what he did," he said about the dismissal.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who claimed 2-23, felt that the conditions were trickier than expected as the chase became difficult at the end.
"It's tricky how much you toss it up, the windows for attacking are less (in T20s). Identifying the right pace took a bit of time for me. Important to see the game in isolation, 24 events (balls), the batsman is trying to play catch-up, so execute your plans. We thought it was par, par-minus, 170-175 was par, at the halfway mark we thought we would cruise home," said Ashwin.
Ashwin also said that new head coach Rahul Dravid need breathing space as the embarks on a new journey with the senior men's team.
"He's done the hard yards in Under-19 and A sides. Nothing to chance, about preparation, leaving nothing to chance, and bringing back the joy."
New Zealand captain Tim Southee said that his team's fight back till the end was a positive along with Mark Chapman's superb 63 off 50 balls.
"The way we started with the ball wasn't what we wanted, did well to claw it back in the middle, took it deep and to the last over was a positive," Southee said.
"You want to come out on the right side of close ones, Mark Chapman the way he played was very pleasing, but a game of fine margins."
Southee admitted that his side mistakes in the field which costed them at crucial junctures of the match.
"We set higher expectations so a bit off with the field, been very very good at it in the last few matches. Tough that we'd used our resources, but Daryl does his scouting and always wants to bowl. We probably didn't leave him enough runs."