Opener Martin Guptill insists New Zealand's top-order batsmen - himself included - need to step up, if they are to win their Twenty20 series against India.
The Blackcaps are 2-0 down in the five-match series, after a clinical performance with the ball propelled India to a seven-wicket win in Auckland on Sunday.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the home side started strongly, with Guptill scoring a quickfire 33 off 20 balls.
But after he was dismissed, India's slow bowlers came on and squeezed the batsmen, depriving New Zealand of a boundary for seven straight overs.
The Blackcaps reached 132/5 off their 20 overs, which India chased down with 15 balls to spare.
The result came two days after India won the opening T20 by six wickets.
"We certainly felt that the pitch was getting slower and slower when we were batting," admitted Guptill.
"It got harder and harder to bat as the game progressed. We needed one of the top three or four to bat the majority of the innings, but we weren’t able to get partnerships to add up the total.
"It would have been good if myself or Colin [Munro] batted 15 overs to set the innings up, and have guys bat around us. It was not supposed to be today, and we have time to try to do that in the next game and do a better performance."
Apart from Guptill's knock, Tim Seifert, with a late 26-ball 33, was the only other batsman to make an impact, as India bowled 46 dot balls.
When you consider that T20 matches consist of 120 balls per innings, that means the Blackcaps failed to score on almost 40 percent of the balls they faced.
"I thought 170 would have been alright, but obviously, we were way off," Guptill added.
"India bowled very well tonight and bowled as straight as possible. There were a lot of dot balls tonight and that impacted our innings."
Guptill felt that India again out-batted them on a difficult track.
"They played very well, as hard as they did the other night. They built partnerships to put pressure on us.
"We were not able to do that and got out-batted tonight. India have got some great players and matchwinners.
"It is hard for the boys to go out there and try their best. Sometimes you come up short."
The Blackcaps are back in action on Wednesday night for the third T20 at Hamilton's Seddon Park.
Join us at 8pm Wednesday for live updates of the third Blackcaps v India T20 match