Captain Kane Williamson lamented a poor performance 'in all areas' as the Black Caps suffered a disappointing defeat in their opening T20 against India.

The 53-run defeat marks their first ever T20 loss to India.

New Zealand struggled in all three facets of the game but it was an uncharacteristic poor fielding showing that ultimately cost them.

Williamson said they simply need to be better.

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"Obviously a disappointing performance from us in all areas. One that stands out is the fielding, we were poor there and it's something we pride ourselves on and we want to be much better going into the second game," he said.

"India played superbly in all facets. There are no excuses, it's just about being better.

"The spinners bowled well, but the bowlers around them were put under such pressure that we couldn't use them [Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner] in a more aggressive role, as we would've liked."

Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were dropped in the early stages of their innings, giving them the chance to put on India's highest T20 opening partnership worth 158.

Dhawan was put down in the second over by Mitchell Santner, who grassed a simple chance at cover point off Trent Boult. He went on to his highest T20 score of 80 from 52 balls.

Sharma also reaped the benefits of an extra life, given to him by Tim Southee who put him down at long on while on 16. He also scored 80.

The first wicket didn't fall until the 17th over when Ish Sodhi (2 for 25), the pick of the bowlers, had Dhawan caught behind.

Sodhi nabbed Hardick Pandya two balls later, but it was too little too late.

After Southee (0 for 44 off four) went for 17 off the final over, India had 202 for 3 on the board.

Southee, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro all went at more than 10 an over.

In reply the Black Caps never looked like threatening India's total as the required run rate steadily soared throughout the chase.

Kane Williamson (28) and Tom Latham (39) were solid but couldn't keep up with the run rate.

Some late hitting from Santner (27 off 14 balls) added some respectability to the total, but New Zealand ended 53 short of victory at 149 for 8.