Napier, Jan 19: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum today termed his team's victory in the first ODI against world No. 1 team, India as "huge" and said the fact that the Kiwis came out on top despite Virat Kohli's century is a good sign.
"The result today is huge for us. To start the series against what is a very good Indian team and then Virat Kohli performed as well as what he did. Yet we come out on top, it is a really good sign. I am delighted for the guys, delighted with today's performance," said McCullum at the post match press conference after his team's 24-run win over India.
Chasing 293, India lost the first ODI of the five-match series with Kohli's 111-ball 123 going down the drain.
McCullum said there were still four more matches to go and it would not be easy for the hosts.
"There are still four tough games to go and India will get better as the tour goes on. But there is a little bit we can improve on as well," he said.
The captain applauded his batsmen for handling the spinners well and the bowlers for taking three quick wickets of Kohli, M S Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja to turn the match in Kiwis' favour.
"We played the spinners well. It doesn't turn a great deal here in Napier, so it could obviously be a different challenge in Hamilton.
"But the way we played the spinners, and also the two guys that we had at the crease against spinners are two of our best batters against spin bowling, their ability to put together a partnership through rotating the strike and picking up the odd boundary was key in allowing us that platform that we wanted," McCullum said, speaking about the 121-run third-wicket partnership between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
"For the majority of the game, we were excellent. It was a good fight back. But when Kohli and Dhoni were putting together that partnership, we were obviously starting to slip. But this is a funny game.
"You are only one or two wickets away from being right back in the driver's seat. Thankfully, we were able to get those wickets and put together what was a pretty good all-round performance," he added.