India crumbled without talisman Virat Kohli and posted their lowest one-day international total in nine years on Thursday as a revitalised New Zealand attack went on the rampage in Hamilton.
The tourists were all out for 92 with 19.1 overs to spare as the dominant form that swept them to a 3-0 lead in the five-match series disappeared.
With Kohli sitting out the first of two dead rubbers and MS Dhoni sidelined with a hamstring strain, India’s batting line up failed to fire.
Yuzvendra Chahal top scored for the tourists with 18 as Black Caps paceman Trent Boult ran amok taking five for 21 — the second-best figures for a New Zealander against India.
Allrounder Colin de Grandhomme also contributed three for 26 as humid conditions allowed the New Zealand bowlers to get some swing for the first time in the series.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma’s managed only seven in his 200th ODI and much-hyped debutant Shubman Gill also failed to reach double figures, falling for nine.
It was India’s seventh-lowest ODI total and their worst since making 88 against New Zealand in Dambulla back in 2010.
While the performance will not cause India to hit the panic button ahead of the World Cup, there will be disappointment at how their batsmen fared without superstars Kohli and Dhoni.
The Indian attack will hope to made amends against a New Zealand batting line-up facing issues of its own.
The third-ranked hosts have dropped opening batsman Colin Munro and promoted Henry Nicholls up the order in a bid to stop a string of slow starts.
Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said the conditions suited Boult.
“I feel like in Hamilton it always offers something for the bowlers here,” he said.
“It allowed him to work to his strengths. He’s come over, he’s come around and he’s been quite relentless really.”