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Coach Peter Moores has admitted England may have selected the wrong line-up for their humiliating defeat in the opening match of the one-day international series against New Zealand.

Critics rounded on England's performance in Wellington yesterday after they overlooked in-form all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas, who played a key role in helping the tourists win both Twenty20 Internationals, and instead kept faith with the side who won unexpectedly in Sri Lanka last October.

But after being dismissed for 130, which allowed New Zealand to cruise to a six wickets victory with 20 overs to spare and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, Moores has admitted that in hindsight the selection policy may have been wrong.

Instead of retaining Mascarenhas, who won man-of-the-match in Tuesday's opening Twenty20 victory in Auckland, and Sussex's Luke Wright, England chose to recall Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook and Moores admitted: "It was a difficult decision because the two guys we left out had played very well.

"The decision was made because the side had played well and Ravi gave us a bit more depth in batting for the longer format.

"It's a great position to be in as a coach because Dimi bowled and batted very well in the two (Twenty20) games and in Luke Wright we've got an exciting young player who likes to play the sort of brand of cricket we're promoting which is pretty aggressive stuff.

"They were two tough decisions and you would have to say that maybe there weren't the right decisions, but it's never an exact science because you never know how the other guys would have gone.

"We'll look at it again as we should do, it's only fair to the squad. We've got a squad of players and we've got to pick what we think is the best team after looking at the ground and the pitch and things like that and make sure we come back to the same attitude that we played our Twenty20 cricket."

While accepting England may have got their selection wrong, Moores claimed the selection of Bopara over Mascarenhas was marginal and the tourists may yet choose the same side again for Tuesday's second match of the series at Seddon Park.

"Selection is outside players' control and you do the best you can to put yourself forward which Dimi did," he said. "He knows the sort of player he is - he's a bowler and a very good striker of a cricket ball.

"He's done well when we've played him and at the same time Ravi Bopara has done some pretty good things recently from breaking into the side at the World Cup to taking us home under pressure at Old Trafford so it's one of those 50-50 decisions."

Selection will remain at the forefront of England's thoughts as they attempt to battle back into the series, but Moores also believes the tourists need to look at their whole approach if they are to match their achievements in Sri Lanka and battle back to win the series after losing the opening match.

"We know it's a five-match series and we knew they had a very good record here in New Zealand," he said.

"They are ranked third so they're a very good team so we expected them to play well and they probably played near the top of their game and we probably played near the bottom of ours. We've got to address that quickly, come back on Tuesday and show what we can do as a team.

"As much as we played very well in the two Twenty20 games, we have to also take it on the chin that we didn't play very well yesterday and we need to sort that out.

"They would have gone in thinking they were on the back foot and they needed to come out hard and they did that on that day. We've got to go away and come back strong on Tuesday."

Moores added: "We just have to be realistic about it. The lads have trained very hard in the build-up and they've had a blip and they're going to come back hard on Tuesday.

"We have seen enough over the last 10 days to show we've got some good players who can play very aggressive one-day cricket.

"It's a great challenge because New Zealand play well in their own country, they know the conditions and they scrap very hard which is part of the fun of it.

"The focus is now on ourselves and what we do. We have to learn but we've shown that if we play to the top of our game we can put them under a lot of pressure."
 
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