New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori on Friday admitted that their World Cup match against defending champions Australia was over as a contest after the Kiwis lost their first six wickets within the opening 20 overs.
"Probably, yes," Vettori replied when asked whether losing too many wickets during the initial period was the reason behind New Zealand's loss in the group A match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamatha near here.
"We made a decent start at 66 for two but then we lost quick wickets which really did the damage. I believe 260-270 would have been a competitive score on this kind of a track but that didn't happen. Nathan McCullum batted well and gave our total a little bit of respectability," the Kiwi skipper said at the post-match press conference.
The New Zealand captain was full of praise for the manner in which the Australians bowled.
"They bowled fast and straight. Johnson got it to reverse. When these three pacers (Johnson, Tait and Lee) get going, they can be very dangerous," Vettori said.
Vettori conceded that the move to play Jamie How as an extra batsman in place of Jacob Oram did not click.
"We actually wanted to strengthen our batting. The idea was to have a guy who can play well when the ball is changed. Now we have time to recover as we have a long break. It will give us time to regroup and rebuilt," he said.
During the initial overs, New Zealand batsmen played a lot of dot balls and the skipper feels it's all about how well one can soak in the pressure.
"Good teams can easily soak up the pressure when it matters the most. Even if they play dot balls, they can make up for it," Vettori said.
Although there have been talks about the mood of the New Zealand team after the tragic earthquake in Christchurch, Vettori said that cannot be a reason for the defeat.
"Look, we are professional sportspersons and we have to deal with the situations," he stated.
Having won only three out of their last 20 games, Vettori feelsÂ "it's been a tough experience for the team."
But he refused to entertain thoughts that such a heavy defeat could derail their World Cup campaign.
"The nature of the World Cup is such that we can bounce back," Vettori insisted.
New Zealand's opening match against Kenya hardly tested their batting and it was badly exposed against Australia on Friday.
But the skipper defended when questioned about his top six batsmen not performing consistently enough.
"Well, if you look at the scores in the past one year, Ryder has done well. It's not the skill area where we are lacking, but yes have to be more consistent," Vettori said.
Although young pacer Hamish Bennett received harsh treatment at the hands of Australia today, Vettori feels, "When a wicket-taking bowler tries a few things, he can get a bit expensive."
He called for collective responsibility in dealing with inconsistent performances.
On the injury front, Vettori informed that Scott Styris has a bruised finger, while he himself has pulled a hamstring.