Tim Southee sent down a much-needed memo a few months before the World Cup AFP

Count Tim Southee out at your own risk. The 30-year-old, along with Tim Seifert, was at the helm of New Zealand handing India their worst T20I defeat in terms of runs. Southee picked figures of 3 for 17 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington and sent down a much-needed memo a few months before the World Cup.

"A number of guys that needed game time and I know I haven't been at my best with the white-ball for a while," Southee admitted after the first T20I. "It's never nice missing out but just have to make the most of opportunities when you get them."

And didn't Southee make the best of the opportunity he got in Wellington. The right-arm seamer conceded only two runs in his first two overs and picked the all-important wicket of Rohit Sharma with a short ball.

"There's been times in the last year or so I've felt I've bowled extremely well at times and haven't got wickets or supported [Trent] Boulty at the other end," Southee added. "So I guess you're always looking at ways to get better, always looking at ways to try and improve as a cricketer. So it's just always [about being] involved in the game and look in a different way so you can get better and looking back to when you were at your best and how you were operating then.

Southee said he had bowling well in the nets for quite some time and that it all came down to replicating it in the match. "Any time you get a chance to play, you're going out there to do your job and your role for the team. It was no different last night. Felt like I've been bowling really well in the nets and for me it was just about transforming that form from the nets to the game. Different when you've been sitting on the sidelines for a while and to go out there, there's obviously excitement, few nerves, but obviously nice way to start the series.

"Sometimes in T20 cricket, it can feel really nice and your figures can look really different. It was just a part of almost the perfect puzzle last night, the perfect team performance.

With New Zealand one game away from a series win, Southee hopes for a similar performance from the hosts in the second T20I, which is set to take place at the famous Eden Park.

"Last night was a good atmosphere and I think tomorrow will be an amazing atmosphere too. I think it'll probably be the first time Eden Park's been sold out since the 2015 World Cup. Doesn't happen too often when we play there. Will be a very noisy crowd and one the guys are very much looking forward to."