Their bowlers couldn't deliver a victory, but for some of the Black Caps batsmen, a return to Eden Park provided just the start they were after.
The Black Caps posted 203-5 in their first Twenty20 clash against India in Auckland on Friday night, and while the visitors chased it down with six balls to spare, there could be few complaints about the New Zealand batting display.
With a stack of Twenty20 clashes on the docket ahead of the World Cup in Australia in October, the Black Caps are attempting to nail down their starting side, and the make-up of their top order is set to be the biggest battle raging in 2020.
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Outside of the XI who played in the opener, the Black Caps could call upon Glenn Phillips, and will call upon Tom Bruce, who will play the final two games of the five-match series against India. Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham are in the mix for spots in the middle order, while Devon Conway is a certainty to get a run in the side when he qualifies for residency in September, having scored 543 runs at an average of 67.9 and strike rate of 145 in the Super Smash.
The amount of options – which also includes potentially moving Tim Seifert back up the order - puts pressure on the incumbents to perform, and three of them did just that in the favourable confines of Eden Park.
Colin Munro, coming off a disappointing domestic Super Smash campaign for his standards, hit a reassuring 59 off 42 balls, while Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both blasted the quickest fifties of their international Twenty20 careers.
While it would take a horrendous run of form for Williamson's spot in the team to come under pressure, he played just three T20 internationals in 2019, and had a career strike rate of 122 coming into the match, so his 26-ball 51 was at least a reminder of his considerable all-round talents.
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Taylor's spot in the side is shakier, having been dropped from the shortest format before, and holding a strike rate of 123 when batting at number five – too slow when considering the situations in which he usually comes to the crease.
So, in turn, his first T20I fifty since 2014 came at a handy time, on a ground that could not have been more suited to providing batsmen some confidence-boosting runs.
"You bowl good balls, they go for six, you bowl bad balls, they go for six," was bowler Ish Sodhi's wry observation of Eden Park, and Taylor acknowledged the impact of both the conditions and how they were exploited by his fellow batsmen.
"It did take you two or three balls to get the pace of it, but it was a pretty good wicket.
"Our openers batted very well and got us off to a good start, and Kane, the way he batted through that middle stage – which can be difficult – he batted outstandingly well."
Despite their success, India's batsmen were better, and Taylor knows small changes are required when the two teams meet again at the same venue tomorrow night.
"You've just got to not be predictable, with both bat and ball. Eden Park definitely adds a new dimension and what we have learned in the past is that if we have had two games in a row, it does slow up a little bit. We've got to learn from that and hopefully we can show that on Sunday."