India went down fighting 1-2 to New Zealand in their opening match, in the Four-nation women's hockey tournament, in Auckland on Thursday.
The Kiwis scored through Anita Punt (third minute) and Katie Glynn (24th) while Anuradha Devi Thokchom found the target for India in the 40th minute, at the Harbour Hockey stadium.
In cold and windy conditions, New Zealand got off to the perfect start, with striker Punt scoring in the third minute following a scramble inside the striking circle.
India made a number of penetrating runs through Rani, Vandana Katariya and Ritu Rani but failed to get past the Kiwi defenders.
The Kiwis increased their lead in the 24th minute with the powerful Katie Glynn smashing the ball high into the Indian goal past Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali.
Glynn had earlier executed an impressive drag-flick from a penalty-corner which was saved by Bali.
India earned four penalty-corners in the first half but failed to convert even one.
After the breather, India attacked vigorously and was rewarded when Poonam Rani set up Thokchom, who found the target in the 40th minute.
India kept pushing for the equaliser but New Zealand goalkeeper Bianca Russell saved the day for the home team.
India play the United States next, on Friday.